Make Sure You’re On When You’re Supposed to Be On (The Chelsea Johnson Story)

Posted on by in Attitude, Branding/Differentiation, Business, Customer Service, Leadership, Relationships, Remarkability

How many times have you gone out to a restaurant (or retail establishment or hotel or bank or . . . ) and been frustrated with the service? In your mind, this ought to be rather simple. If someone is in a service business, they ought to be prepared to serve. But what seems so obvious to us, isn’t. Which means that it really ought to be relatively easy to be remarkable in a service business (which most of us are in) simply by making sure that we’re on when we’re supposed to be on.

Case in point would be my daughter, Chelsea. Chelsea is 18 years old and has been making a boat load of money this summer since she started serving at Ruby Tuesdays here in Germantown MD. Within two weeks of starting, she was one of their highest tip earners by percentage and now fluctuates between number one and number two in total dollar volume. Week after week she comes home with amazing stories like receiving a $40 tip on a $10 ticket (from an elderly lady who had recently lost her husband and my daughter just listened to her). Or my favorite story is about the couple who, when they found out that my daughter was going to college this fall, decided to add, in addition to their generous tip, an extra $50 for her college education. Is that amazing, or what? Clearly, I’ve never been that generous to any one who’s served me–ever! So, what is my daughter’s secret?

It’s actually pretty simple. She’s on when she’s supposed to be on. It doesn’t matter how she feels or if her feet are killing her or if she’s working a double shift or if a coworker is making her life miserable, when she’s with a customer, she’s fully on. She’s engaging, she smiles, she laughs, she remembers people’s likes and dislikes, she anticipates their needs so that she has what they want before they can even verbalize it, she corrects problems without excuse, she’s entertaining, she brings more than is required and she loves people. In essence, what my daughter wants to do is make the experience for her customers remarkable (I wonder where she learned that?), knowing that if she delights them, they’ll be generous with her (and she’s right). Plus, she’s created a whole series of raving fans who not only request her section when they arrive, they tell others about her. Not bad for an eighteen year old–if you ask me (and I’m clearly impartial)!

So as you look at your business or area of responsibility, are you fully on when you’re supposed to be on? When you’re with a customer (or if you’re a manager, when you’re with your people), do you seek to delight them? Do you leave your problems behind and completely focus on them? Are you engaging? Are you fun? Do you remember their likes and dislikes? Do you anticipate their needs before they request them? Etc. In other words, are you fully on when you’re supposed to be on? Because if you’re not, not only are your customers (or employees) missing out, you are as well. But if you are fully on when you’re supposed to be on, then you’ve learned what my daughter has learned well this summer, that the rewards are clearly better to those who are fully on when they’re in the presence of a customer.

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