Old Fashioned Customer Service still moves me to want to go out of my way to support a business. It does buy my loyalty. It’s a rainy dark day in the Portland area. In and out of two separate auto parts stores. I needed a headlight. The first two stores, the guys behind the counter pointed me toward the isle with hundreds of headlights. I had no clue which one to buy and asked how I make the decision. They both stayed sitting behind the counter and said it depends on various factors. Both stores, the first two I visited, I had no assistance to offer. Interestingly the first two stores were empty in the middle of the day. I left feeling a bit discouraged.
On way home from meeting with a friend I decided to try one more place. I had already been pulled over by a police who kindly told to get my light fixed. I could sneak through another night of driving with heavy fog and the high-beams on, but really such a simple task of replacing a headlight was turning into more than I had time for. So I stopped at O’Reilly’s Auto in Beaverton, OR.
A young man greeted me at the door and asked if he could help me. I told him what I needed, and he asked me what kind of car I drive. He then walked me right over to the correct light needed and then asked, “Will you need help replacing this?” At that moment another customer already in the store approached him. He looked at me and said, “I would be happy to replace this for you, if you want to wait while I finish up with this guy.”
I waited and decided that I should buy two lights in-case the other went out. This salesperson ended up replacing both lights. When I went to pay I asked how much to replace the lights and he laughed. “There is no charge.” I smiled, paid my money and decided I would give O’Reilly’s more of my business. Old fashion customer service bought my loyalties. I am ordering my floor mats from them.
What is old fashioned customer service?
1. Face to face conversation, where the salesperson is asking questions in the manner of how they can serve you?
2. Offer assistance, by helping with the finding the correct item.
3. Going out of your way to assist with the need.
4. Communicating that you want to help, even if there are others before you.
5. Smiling and proud of where you work.
I hired a young girl about 15 years ago, based on these five descriptions of customer service. I went into Cost Plus on two occasions where this young gal helped me. The second time I gave her my card and said I will pay you $2.00 more per hour than what they are paying you here. She called me the next day, interviewed and worked for me for over five years, before she had her first baby.
Is it really Old Fashioned to serve others when hired to serve? Is this something you teach, or is it that some people are born with, to come alongside and serve others no matter what the job. I would guess this young man today in his late 20’s. The young gal I hired was only 18 years old. Both beaming to be able to help out. Now I will soon have nice new floor mats and will do things like write about this kind of Old Fashion Genuine Customer Service.