A recent Huffington Post story named customer service as another example of a lost, or certainly dying, art. As a veteran salesperson for eight years, I find this truly disappointing. Aside from the mantra, “the customer is always right,” there is the mantra “we want a customer to come back.” Customers return to stores, and businesses, for several reasons. As a sales person, I wanted their business, it paid my rent, and I wanted them to think of me first even if a competitor had a lower price. One does this by handling difficult customers with just the same level of respect and courtesy as the easy ones, thanking all customers, no matter how small the sale, and finally, stopping whatever else you are doing to help a customer.
In my world now, the mommy world, I have become the customer. Typically, I’m running from one place to another, with a relatively small window of time to accomplish many things. Not everyone can understand that, but to those who try, I sincerely appreciate it. When they give great customer service despite my rushing, that’s worth sharing. Where, you ask, might one find such a place? The Verona Public Library.
On one of my typically busy days, with just enough time to squeeze in one more errand before school pick up, I made a frantic call to the library. Bill Trafton answered the phone. I said hi, he knew who I was, and I asked if a particular book was in stock. He checked and said it was. I said, “Great. I’ll be there in 10 minutes. Can you set it aside for me?” He said, “Sure.”
I pulled up in front of the library and ran in. Bill was there at the counter with my book. He was polite, knew I was rushing, and got me checked out quickly. That doesn’t happen every day. I was so appreciative of his effort that I’ve been telling people this story over and over again.
So Bill, I want to thank you for excellent customer service and always being pleasant regardless of my mood. It’s a pleasure coming to the library and for any readers out there who didn’t know, today is Bill’s birthday! Happy Birthday Bill! I wish you many more.
UPDATE: Hobcaw Cafe threw Bill a surprise birthday party, complete with cake. Take a look.
Have a birthday shout-out that you’d like to make? Drop us an e-mail.