While attending the Florida-Tennessee football game this past Saturday, I had a most pleasurable customer service experience…from a most unexpected place.
It all happened…at one of the concessions stands.
It was a perfectly humid, Florida day in “The Swamp,” and at the onset of the second quarter I was ready for a nice, big cup of something. But…what? Let’s see, Pepsi, Gatorade, lemonade, water…something good, something refreshing…something to quench my thirst.
Couldn’t put my finger on it, but I needed something quick…something ice cold.
To pass the time while standing in line, I always look to see who is running the concession…and who my visit is actually benefiting. This particular booth was being manned by the local Knights of Columbus. Once I stepped up to the counter, a young lady directly across the counter looked at me and politely asked, “How may I help you?”
Now, this question is quite common when someone steps up to a concession stand, much less a fast food establishment counter, or a movie ticket booth…or, a customer service nook of any kind. “How may I help you?” is inviting…hospitable, as if to say, “Welcome…come into my home.”
But, this was different. It was HOW she said it that so impressed me.
As she asked me that polite “How may I help you?” question, this young lady looked at me square in the eyes…never letting go of my line of vision. Her eyes showed me that she genuinely cared about my needs. I suppose my look said it all, as I glanced up at the sign pondering my order…red in the face and sweat dripping down the front of my shirt.
Maybe she was keeping a watchful eye on me should I keel over on the other side of the counter?
My mind was swirling…small drink…or, a large drink?
What to drink?
Little ice…or, a lot of ice?
And then it happened. No…..…I didn’t faint.
Before I could even place my order, the young lady had pulled the largest cup possible from behind the booth, placed a scoop of ice in it and set it on the counter in front of me…waiting for my order of exactly what beverage to eventually place in the cup.
She already knew what size I was going to order…she just needed the flavor. You see, she was very perceptive…and, quite understanding of my indecision. And, within those few minutes, she read my eyes, my body language, and my needs.
I made my choice…“A large Pepsi, with little ice.” But, she already knew that, didn’t she!
And, as she poured me my order, she asked me, “Are you enjoying the game?”
She didn’t say, “That’ll be five dollars……..NEXT!”
She genuinely wanted to know if I was enjoying my day. She took the time out of a long line of hungry, sweaty, thirsty fans to ask about me! How refreshing.
A small discussion ensued about the Knights of Columbus, and we chatted as long as we could…before the next guy in line peered over my shoulder. And, when I paid and exited the concession stand, she delighted me further by saying, “I hope you enjoy the rest of your day…and, I wish you a fabulous weekend!”
“Hope…enjoy…wish…fabulous.” Wow…great words by a very confident young lady.
Although she had a wonderful comment to send me off, her eyes said it all.
I suppose she could have said, “…go jump in a lake,” and I would have been just fine.
But, her eyes said ‘welcome’…‘thank you for stopping by our booth’…’thank you for being a client.’
Eye communication is so important these days. All of us are so overwhelmed with our cell phones, computers, emails, and texts…that we forget all about the necessities of the human touch, the smile…or the importance of good ol’ fashion face-to-face communication.
This young lady at the concession stand sold me without really having to say a thing…her eyes did the talking. You might say this was an eye-opening experience. It reminded me that, although our forms of communication these days are changing in the blink of an eye, I personally still need and should have that direct contact with my clients, co-workers, friends, and family.
How do you think your clients will respond when you look into their eyes, and ask “How may I help you?”…or, perhaps, “Are you enjoying the day?” And, how many times do you get the chance to look your clients in their eyes and tell them, “I wish you a fabulous weekend!”?
Your outstanding service to your clients is one thing…looking them in the eye and thanking them for being a client is another.
Take time to do just that…your clients will be captivated by your eye communication!