Service… What does it really mean? Do you know that even the little things we do impact how others perceive us. I wrote this post this past August and it obviously impacted me… in a negative way. Real estate is very much a reputation business and your reputation is very important now more than ever. Think about the little things we do each day and how we can do them better…
Sometimes I have to wonder what our society is becoming! What is it with people today?
Recently I went to a small farm stand to buy some fresh produce. When I entered, there was a young woman sitting on a tall stool behind the counter.
She neither looked up nor acknowledged my presence in any way.
I was the only customer she had and I had never been there before. We’re camping at the beach and traveling back and forth to work each day.
This place is right on my way…a place I can conveniently stop in daily to pick up fresh veggies.
I carefully selected 6 ears of fresh local corn…already imagining how they would taste after soaking in water for a few hours and then grilling them with the husks still on! Simply yummy.
Satisfied with my corn, I glanced over at the girl, she still didn’t look up. I was going to ask a question about Romain lettuce…instead I took a little red basket, put my corn in it and went to check out the fresh tomatoes.
The tomatoes were plump and looked just awesome. I knew by the feel of them that they were perfect. I added one to my basket and then since she had not yet acknowledged my presence I decided to interrupt her and to ask if she had any Romain lettuce as I couldn’t see any.
She looked up and said they only had what was out on the counter, pointing to where I was standing. Iceberg I stated…I was hoping for fresh Romain.
She then pointed to a refrigerator in the back corner of the store…“what’s in there?” she asked me...she asked me the customer what was in her refrigerator and then she immediately looked back down!
Feeling pretty stupid thinking I missed seeing the lettuce, I walked to the refrigerator. I saw a bunch of spinach…but no Romain lettuce.
The young lady at the counter…she never inquired if I found what I wanted or offered me any assistance at all. She didn’t move.
I really wanted a salad with dinner so I decided to get one of the fresh heads of iceberg lettuce instead. Not what I wanted but it would do.
When I got to the counter, she never asked about the Romain lettuce, she never even looked up as I walked up to her.
She expertly rung up my 6 ears of corn, one tomato and a head of lettuce… grand total of $5.29 cents. I handed her a 10 dollar bill and notice the large tip jar sitting by the register.
She handed me back my change…just the bills and she had to reach over the tip jar to give it to me.
The coins…she held in her other hand. She looked me square in the eye as she held open her hand with my coins in it …her hand was just above the tip jar and stayed there! She never moved it in my direction…as if to say How about a tip lady?
I was dumb struck…what did she do to deserve a tip? I know I’m talking a small amount of money here but did she give any kind of service at all? She never even smiled at me!
I wanted to lecture her on customer service but instead reached over and slowly took my change out of her hand and said thank you very much and have a nice day… she didn’t say a word.
It got me thinking about service and how we are perceived by others. Do you put a smile on your face and acknowledge people when they walk in your office? Even if you are not the “Up Agent”, if you’re busy doing something else and the receptionist is there? Do you? Do you take the time?
How do you make people feel?
How about the mortgage officer that stops by hoping to drum up business or the appraiser that might stop by needing assistance? Do you take a few seconds and make them feel welcome even if you don’t feel like it at that moment?
That young lady at the counter lost business for her boss that day…word of mouth…10 days of repeat stops ( I love fresh veggies) and if she treated me that way and expected a tip for it I have to wonder how many other people she treated the same…how much business she lost due to her lousy service?
It doesn’t take much effort to smile and be polite.
I always smile before I answer the phone…no matter what because I know people can hear my smile.
People can hear yours too…make sure you have one for them.
Jay and Monika McGillicuddy
Serving Southern New Hampshire and Rockingham County
Hampstead NH Real Estate