A cheerful chat can change a lot
Yesterday I dragged myself out of the house to do one of the chores that I'm really not fond of - grocery shopping.
The weather was cold, I'm tired after a long week and the last thing I want to do is to battle with the shopping centre crowds.....but a family needs to eat.
So I make my way around the local supermarket weaving through customers who like to leave the chopping trolleys in the middle of the aisle and crying kids. After being largely ignored by the girl at the checkout, I was eager to get home.
I then remembered that I needed to get some supplies from a bottle shop. Now, I usually go to the big liquor supplier across town, but decided that I just couldn't be bothered with the drive so I wandered into the bottle shop inside the shopping centre.
On my first step into the store I was greeted by a young male with a friendly "Hello, how are you today?"
"Good thanks" - everyone's standard answer.
"What can I help you with today?"
"I'm after some scotch"
"Let me show you where they are" and he escorted me to the appropriate shelf and asked me if he could make some recommendations.
Even though I knew exactly what I was going to purchase, I was interested in what he had to say.
But instead of exalting me with the vastness of his whiskey knowledge, he asked me a series of questions....
"Is there a particular type of whiskey you prefer, malt, blended?"
"Which do you like best - Scotch, Irish or American whiskies?"
"Do you like smoky flavour or a smoother blend"
Here's my point - this young man started a conversation with me that was about me - the customer. What I liked, what I'd tried and what I wanted todo with it.
Now, I did end up buying what I initially intended, but the exchange with this staff member brightened my day and as he bade me a friendly farewell and "see you next time" I thought to myself - yes you will!
It's amazing how a friendly chat with someone who is interested in you can turn your day around.
From now on, I'm less likely to to bother travelling across town to save a few dollars with the big guys - I'd much rather spend my dollars with someone who seems to genuinely delighted to serve me.
And that is what builds customer loyalty.....