James (not real name) is a waiter in one of the busiest restaurants in the heart of Lagos. While on his shift, he comes across a lot of characters. Some are patient and easygoing; some are bossy and authoritarian; some are polite and pleasant while there are also those who are brash and uncouth. James has to satisfy every single customer with a service experience that will make them want to return for more.
I remember being on the queue one Sunday, watching James respond to his clients. There was a particularly long queue that day because of an event that was being hosted in the same eatery. He had this warm, charismatic smile on his face that I found to be quite soothing. It made the queue seem like a small price to pay to be served by him.
Out of the blues, a tall gangly young man with a Texan slur, approached the queue demanding a can of soda in a loud impatient voice. He was probably very thirsty as he offered to pay above the usual price for the ‘soda.’ He reminded me of a typical spoilt brat as he insisted on being served immediately despite the number of people ahead of him. I watched to see what my amiable James would do and I was so impressed with the way he soothed the impatient guy without necessarily conceding his request. In fact, I was so impressed that I conceived the post.
We all know what it’s like to be served by sales people who make the purchase an enjoyable experience. The service delivery makes you want to bypass several other alternatives to get to them. Meanwhile, there are others who make one look like a fool for wanting to patronise them at all. Every one who pays for a good/service wants to feel valued and adequately rewarded for the money he pays irrespective of how much it is.
This week, practise making your clients feel valued for patronising you. Whatever you do, do it with a smile This smile’s for you.