Dew sparkled on the grass blades like crystal freckles strewn across Mother Natureâ€™s face.Â It was a pretty morning after a stormy night, and I waited with quiet acceptance for the deliverymen to arrive.Â I had been given a time frame for their arrival, but not a definitive appointment.
In todayâ€™s world the norm holds that the customer can wait.Â We wait in line at fast food restaurants, at grocery stores, at movie theaters, and at the DMV.Â When a service call is neededâ€”say for a repair on an applianceâ€”weâ€™re told that the service person will arrive between 8 a.m. and noon, or between noon and 5 p.m..Â Maybe. Frustrated because our day is given over to the unknown, we gulp and agree because we feel we have no choice.
Over the years I have become sensitive to customer service, and tend to frequent places that make me feel like I matter.Â Hopefully, I let them know their efforts matter to me as well.
I can think of a local restaurant that some of my family will not visit.Â They feel it is beneath their standards.Â And yet my husband and I go there almost weekly.Â Sure the wallpaper has seen better days and the bathrooms need updating.Â But it is a family owned place and weâ€™ve watched their kids grow up.Â When we walk in they smile and seat us like old friends, and in a way, I hope we are.Â The mom stops by to chat with us for a while, and the dad pokes his head out of the kitchen and gives a wave.Â We happen to like their food too, but it is the totality of the experience that brings us back time and again. Â Although we are two of endless customers, a relationship has developed.
Today, as I waited for the deliverymen, I accepted that I would be a hostage until they appeared.Â Afraid to even walk the dog for a few minutes in case I missed a telephone call alerting me to their impending arrival, I busied myself with computer work.
The doorbell rang and I bounded to the door.Â The servicemen introduced themselves and one handed me a carnation.Â They then asked permission to enter, if I would prefer they take off their shoes first, and where I would like the item placed.Â I was blown away.
Moments after the deliverymen left, the company called and wanted to know if I was satisfied with the product and the delivery.Â Uhhhh, yes!
I placed my carnation into a bouquet of peonies, and pondered the wonders of old-fashioned customer service.Â It was the best part of my day.