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What Else Do You Want?
by Darlene Pineda


True Story (I couldn't make this up!)

Monday I was in a little diner, and the waitress came over and asked me if I was ready to order. I told her I hadn't seen a menu yet. She sighed, then strolled over to the counter, grabbed a menu, and strolled on back. After handing it to me, she stood there, waiting. I mentioned that I might need a minute to make a decision. She said, "Oh, take your time." She then continued to stand there, tapping her pen against her leg.

I ordered a grilled cheese sandwich, with a diet coke. She came back with a regular coke. I asked her to change it for diet. She sighed, looked back at the kitchen, looked back down at the glass, looked back towards the kitchen… then picked up the glass and said, "Oh, alright." She came back with my diet coke.

I was left alone for 10 minutes, than she appeared with my grilled cheese sandwich. She dropped it on the table with a thump, and wandered back off. I caught her eye a few minutes later and asked if I could have a napkin and some silverware. She asked, "Why do you need silverware to eat a sandwich?" I admit I was stumped for a moment! I stared at her, she stared at me, than she sighed, again, and strolled over to the counter, coming back with a napkin and a fork.

As I sat there, eating my sandwich and shaking my head in amazement, the waitress again came by, dropped the check on the table, and said, "Hope everything was good. Have a nice day." Hope everything was good? Needless to say, I left a very small tip.

As I was leaving, the waitress approached me, and asked why I didn't leave her a bigger tip! As I told her how her service was, well, 'distracted', she insisted that she was a good waitress, after all, didn't I get everything I had asked for? In fact, she said, "You got your sandwich, you got your drink, what else do you want?"

Good question! What else does a customer want? A smile, a thank you, that's what many of us consider standard. An apology when things go wrong, asking if everything is okay, offering extra services or products (Can I carry that for you? Would you like a matching lotion?). A customer knows when you're THERE, when you are fully engaged in the interaction, just as they know when you're really thinking about lunch, or your car payment, or the movie you saw last night.

You CHOOSE what you're bringing to work each day, you CHOOSE to BE THERE. You can CHOOSE to MAKE THEIR DAY.

What do your customers say about you?


The Author


Darlene Pineda is a contributing editor of The CEO Refresher, Vice President Operations at High Performance Retail, co-editor of 1001 Ways to WOW Your Customers! customer service specialist and breakthrough trainer! Contact Darlene by e-mail: .

Many more articles in High Performance Retail in The CEO Refresher Archives
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Copyright 2004 by Darlene Pineda. All rights reserved.

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