I recently popped into my local Staples to buy some new printer cartridges for my very hungry color printer. I needed two of every color under the rainbow, so I took my son with me because I was pretty sure it was going to cost me my firstborn to buy that much ink all at once.
I grabbed all of the colors I needed and piled them up at the cash register. Just then the manager walked by. He sized up my leaning tower of ink, and said, “You need the two-packs, they’ll save you money.” He walked over to the ink display, grabbed two-packs of my colors and brought them back over to the register.
“Heck, you’re going to save $4 on just the black ones alone,” he said as he glanced back at the price sticker on the shelf.
He then proceeded to coach the cashier to notice when people are buying this particular type of ink cartridge because the two-pack is cheaper than the individual packs.
He could have let me walk right out the door and made a few more bucks for the Staples shareholders. However, it’s just this kind of customer-focused service that keeps me coming back. Another favorite Staples experience occurred years ago when a Staples employee saw my car door ajar, closed (and locked) my car for me, and left me a note telling me to come into the store if she had inadvertently locked me out of my car.
Don’t you love it when somebody notices something about you and immediately thinks of a way to make your life easier, less expensive, or more enjoyable? This kind of behavior comes naturally to some people. Others may need to work on it a little.
One way to encourage yourself or your team to act this way is to create a simple challenge. Ask yourself a few times throughout the day “What can I do to help my customer?” After all, that’s the essence of service, isn’t it?
- You might carry something to somebody’s car. Outside of some good grocery stores, NOBODY does this for anyone anymore.
- You might know of a “package” deal that will save your customer some money, like the 2-pack of ink at Staples.
- You might spend an extra few minutes listening to a story about your customer’s struggles with an aging parent or a sick child.
- You might notice that somebody looks cold and offer to turn up the heat or hand them a blanket.
There are literally dozens of ways to help your customers and co-workers each week…if you just pay a little extra attention. See how many you can find this week!