Several years ago when I was with Walmart I had attended one of our conventions, and we usually had motivational speakers who spoke about customer service. One story that I remember was “Johnny the Bagger.” The person making the presentation was hired by a large supermarket chain to lead a customer service program, and she shared that experience with us.
In her presentation to the employees of this supermarket she said, “Every one of you can make a difference,” and she challenged them to do something to make their customers feel special–create a memory that would make them come back.
A month later she received a phone call from a 19 year old bagger named Johnny. He proudly informed her that he was a Down Syndrome individual and told his story.
“I liked what you talked about,” he said, “but at first I didn’t think I could do anything special for our customers. After all, I’m just a bagger.”
Then he told her that he had come up with an idea. Every night after he came home from work, he would find a thought for the day, and if he couldn’t find one, he just thought one up. His dad helped him set it up on the computer and print copies. Johnny would cut out the copies and sign his name on the back. Then he’d bring them to the store the next day.
When he finished bagging someone’s groceries, he would put his thought for the day in their bag and say, “Thanks for shopping with us!”
A month later the store manager called her and said, “You wouldn’t believe what has happened! Today I found a line of customers in the line that Johnny bags, and it was three times longer than anyone else’s.” He said he tried to get people into other lines and they replied, “No, it’s okay–we want to be in Johnny’s lane–we want his ‘Thought for the Day’.”
The store manager was overwhelmed by watching Johnny make his customers happy. One of his customers said, “I used to shop in your store once a week, but now I come in every time I go by to get Johnny’s ‘Thought for the Day’.”
A few months later, the store manager called our speaker again, saying, “Johnny has transformed our store. When the Floral department has a broken flower or unused corsage, they find an elderly customer or a little girl and pin it on them. Everyone is having fun creating memories!”
So if you remember, I mentioned several weeks ago about creating raving fan customers–that is what Johnny had done. The same as the waiter did in the story I told you about the customer who went to a restaurant in New York City. It’s so easy to do little things for your customer, and I can assure you that they will never forget it.
If you have a great customer service story, I would be happy to share it with our readers. Just drop it off at the Chamber or send it to my email at firstname.lastname@example.org
See you next Friday!