When you mention the words "curb service" what comes to mind? Depending on when you grew up you might be familiar with some of the old-fashioned drive in diners that dotted the highways and byways throughout the country. Most small towns at one time had a drive in diner. The image of waitresses on roller skates is even further supported in movies and television programming.
Today I had just arrived from the bank when a truck pulled up in front of the store. The way my store is positioned there is a break in the curb to allow wheelchairs, walkers or people with other disabilities to gain access to the sidewalk without having to step up on the curb. Well this man parked right in front of the store blatantly blocking that ramp. I got the lights turned on and looked out front wondering what I was going to say to this man who ignored the "No Parking" sign hanging right in front of him.
As I look out the front door he makes eye contact with me and holds up a handicap hang tag. Immediately my attitude changed from focusing on what I perceived as a rude person to one of a person in need. I walked outside with a smile on my face and I could immediately tell this gentleman was embarrassed by his situation. He was overweight and I could see a cane in the seat next to him. He told me he was scheduled for surgery and needed some items to help him over the next couple of weeks prior to his surgery. After giving me the list, I returned with a training slip showing him what his total was. He gave me his credit card . . . you get the idea. I thanked him, gave him by business card and told him if he had any questions or concerns all he had to do was call me. He was genuinely appreciative of the service he received.
We are part of a culture that expects quick, no-frills service. Drive-thru coffee, drive-thru immunizations and drive-thru weddings were unheard of a generation ago. I guess we can blame it on our parents and grandparents. . . doubt it. We have created this type of atmosphere.
A lot of people today expect curb service type attention. But to those that don't expect it, what would happen if we delivered it to them anyway?
What can you do to bring that level of service to every customer that comes through your doors?
* Thank the customer
* Look them in the eye
* Carry their purchase to their car, if possible
* Offer freebies
It's pretty simple. Serve your customer as if they were a guest in your home.