Is Your "Service Radar" On The Wrong Setting?

Meet Jason. He’s my new hero.

Jason works at World Market in Columbus (specifically the one near Tuttle Mall) — the only store I braved during Black Friday.

I was on a mission: to seek out and purchase a chair that was at an insanely low, “one day only” price. I entered the store with purpose, made my purchase, felt great about my self-control, and then made the mistake of looking around “just for a minute.”

Well, when my minute was up, I found myself holding about 16 small items in my bare hands…and I was still browsing. Darn you, Black Friday fever.

Then, as if by magic, an empty basket appeared between me and the shelf full of, um, well, I can’t even remember what I was looking at because the basket grabbed my complete attention.

I turned to see the very friendly face of Jason, who also owned the arm offering me the basket. “You need this,” said my new friend. He was right. My hands were full. If I was going to take advantage of any more bargains, I would need a basket.

Sure, Jason knew that if I had a basket I was likely to buy more stuff, therefore ensuring a healthier bottom line for his store and more job security for him and his co-workers. But, honestly, I didn’t get that vibe from Jason. What I felt instead was that Jason had my back. He saw that I had a need and he proactively did something about it. In fact, I wasn’t even quite aware I had the need until Jason offered a solution. He didn’t wait for me to drop something, or until I started desperately screaming “WILL SOMEBODY PLEASE BRING ME A BASKET FOR MY BARGAINS????

Believe it or not, as great of a customer service story as this is, I want you to apply this to how you serve your team. Do you ever notice a co-worker who could use some help and you think to yourself, “I’d like to help, but I’m kind of busy right now.” Or you wait to see if they’ll figure it out themselves, which of course completely lets you off the hook guilt-free if they succeed.

We all have a “service radar.” It has two settings: Proactive and Reactive. The default setting for our radar is reactive mode – “if they ask, then I’ll help.”¬†What I love about Jason is that he has tuned his radar to proactively look for customers that need help. And it didn’t take much effort at all to make a noticeable difference in my shopping experience.

When people think of the greatest team players in an organization (and the greatest service people anywhere), they don’t think of people who only help when asked. They think of people who help freely, unselfishly and, most importantly, before they are asked.

Oh, did I mention Jason is the General Manager of his store? I noticed a similar helpful vibe from many of the other staff members. Coincidence? Not a chance.


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