I'm Spiritual, Dammit

Customer service is not dead!

Are you wondering how to survive in this crazy economic climate?  Well- for starters- you need great customer service.  I'm not talking about a smile- you better go that extra mile- or I won't spend my dollars with you- and I know I'm not alone.Service Sector Index, Including Restaurant Industry, Posts Large Declines
I've always believed that it's better to be positive and collaborative than bitchy and right. It's the spiritual warrior in me.  But in today's economic climate, I feel it's the only recipe you can have for success- especially if you own a company or run a business.

Recently- I saw a letter in the mail that looked like a thank you note.  When I opened it up, I was shocked to find a hand written note from the saleswoman at Hanig's Footwear in Evanston thanking us for stopping in to get my son his new Stride Rites.

"I hope he is running around and still enjoying them..."  The note said.

That little gesture will now get me to go back.  Are the shoes cheaper at Target?  Of course-  but there is nobody there to size you for the shoes- and for a three year old- the whole getting fitted thing is one of the biggest perks of the process.

Saturday night, my husband and I went out to dinner.  (We used to go several nights a week- but now, to save money, we choose one place we want to visit a month- and make a date out of it.) I won't say the name of the restaurant, but it's in Winnetka, and it's incredibly over priced.  My husband is in culinary school, and I hosted a food and wine show, so we're kind of food snobs who love to try different things.  

The food was okay- but our service was terrible.  I couldn't believe how apathetic our waiter was towards us; from the wine choice, to the entree selection.  And this guy has been working there for years- so it's not like he's a teenager who doesn't know better.  We will NEVER go back there, which is too bad for them- because we love to eat out.

I recently rented a car, and had made a reservation on line with one of those discount companies.  When I got to the counter at the airport, the line was so long, I started looking for an alternative.  We walked up to another car company and asked-

"Do you have any cars? I don't want to wait in that line."

"Yes- what were you quoted by them?"  The woman behind the counter asked...

"40 bucks a day," I said.

"How about 35?"  She said with a smile.  "I'll even throw in a GPS system."


I will always go to that rental company now- just because of that one lady.

So listen up, business owners......you better have a little "customer service" tutorial with your employees.  In this economy- we are spending our money more carefully- and it's the business that makes you feel appreciated that will win hands down.  No doubt.

Can I get an A-MEN?




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elena said:

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even if you won't tell us the name of the restaurant i think it would be great if you rated them on metromix so that others are forewarned. it is always disappointing to be underwhelmed at a fancy shmancy place.

elly said:


Oh, I love this. Reminds me of Zappos and their legendary customer service. I had an issue once, and I spoke with one of their reps, who resolved the issue quickly, and was extremely friendly. A few days after that I received a hand written thank you note from her for using Zappos etc. I couldn't believe someone would take the time to do that. :)

I don't eat out often but I have noticed that there are more and more waiters who act as if they don't have to be nice to earn their tip. And it's never a good idea to upset the people who are paying them. Because the customers are paying waiters more than their actual employer.

Never underestimate how far a smile and a pleasant attitude can get you :)

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