Recently, during our typical Saturday morning errand run, my wife and I experienced not one, but two excellent customer service experiences. While the fact that we were well services twice in one day is reason to shout from a mountaintop, in both, young people served us.
We were shopping in the Leesburg Pharmacy, a local market, when a young man, most likely in his early 20’s or late teens, offered to help us. We were in search of a specific item we called about early and had reserved at a discount. He did not hesitate and lead us right to the item, pulled it from the shelf, and offered to carry it to the checkout counter. When we asked to see the store’s selection of reading glasses, he again led the way and continued to hold the other item while my wife tried on glasses. He also assisted my wife in finding the proper optic setting and chatted neighborly to us both. After my wife had found a suitable pair of glasses, he led us to a checkout counter. Seeing that one with a line, he then led us to a less busy counter, set the items on the counter, explained that we were to receive a discount, and then went in search of mail in rebate certificates for the item we purchased as a discount. Finally, our young clerk asked the cashier to print out copies of the receipt so we could take advantage of the rebate. He even walked us to the door to wish us a good day.
Later that day, we stopped by Chalk Dusk, a local teacher’s store (my wife is a math teacher) in Winchester, Virginia for a couple of items. When we were ready to checkout, a very young lady greeted us. Our hostess could not have been older than 10 years old and was the granddaughter of the owners. What amazed both my wife and I was not only her ability at the cash register, but her politeness and her professionalism. Yes, I said professionalism. I have purchased items from big-box stores as well as small “mom and pop” stores and frankly, I rarely experience the level of service I received from this young professional. She worked quickly as to reduce the wait time of her customers. Her words, tone, and bearing showed respect for her customers. And, she was very polite, addressing each person as sir or ma’am, thanking each of us for our business, and wishing every customer a good day. In addition, she was a master of the card swipe and cash register. While she her grandparents stood by her, they did not have to prompt her at all.
Both of these experiences gave me hope for the future. In many ways, I expect, if not bad serviced, at least forgettable service from young people. After all, they are only doing what they are taught to do. Management needs to be ashamed if a young person offers bad service. That is normally the result of improper training. But, at both the pharmacy and Chalk Dust, these young people had excellent customer service instilled in their actions. As they grow and become leaders (I have little doubt they will), these two will influence others, spreading the gospel of good service to others, and train other young people. There is hope for the future of business and for customer service.