The Difference One Employee Can Make

Stacie - bubbas restaurantI love being pleasantly surprised by great service.  You know those moments…your expectations are not just met, but exceeded.  Well, Stacie did just that for me during a recent visit to Jackson Hole, Wyoming.  I was there vacationing with some friends and one morning decided to go to breakfast.  I don’t know about you, but I love trying places the “locals” frequent which is how we ended up at Bubba’s Bar-B-Que.  Stacie has worked at this restaurant for over 20 years.  She grew up on Jackson Hole and has made this restaurant stand out to locals and tourists alike.

The restaurant has windows all around it and I suppose the host saw us approach because whe we walked in he said, “Good morning!  Welcome. We’re ready for you,” and he immediately took us to a booth.  That’s when we met Stacie.  She greeted us within 2 minutes with a huge smile and made us feel right at home (as we eyed the other patrons, it was clear we were the tourists amid this local hangout).

So, why did Stacie stand out?  Well, it wasn’t just how she interacted with our table but rather what we also saw her do with every table in the restaurant.  Regardless of the service your business provides, Stacie’s approach to her role provides a few reminders each of us can benefit from:

She was happy to be there.
I wish you could hear Stacie’s laugh.  It was contagious as she bounced from table to table taking care of her customers.  Whether she was filling up a cup of coffee or running to the kitchen, she was nothing but a friendly face to everyone.  As I watched, I noticed the positive expressions at each table.  She was happy to be there and as the result, her customers were too.

She knew her stuff.
We would hope a 20-year tenured employee would know her job but Stacie’s knowledge went above the normal menu specials.  We were there for a breakfast but this was a barbecue restaurant. So we asked about their specialties and through Stacie got an easy-to-understand description of why there is often a wait at this eatery.  It made us want to come back for lunch one day (which we did).

She found ways to delight her customers.
We were there for breakfast.  I’m a coffee drinker but my friend is not.  She asked for sweet tea to drink (fresh-brewed iced tea not the beverage gun stuff).  Well, that request made Stacie laugh to which she lingered with us a bit and simply enjoyed getting to know us, where we were from, what we had experienced in the town, etc., which just added to her charm.  As we prepared to leave, she brought me a coffee to go and my friend a large sweet tea.  With a wink she said, “I know you can’t get that just anywhere.”

Our dining experience that morning was one the highlights of my week.  So much so that I asked for her picture and if I could tell others about my experience.  You can see her smiling face in the photo.  She made Jackson Hole a delight.  Wouldn’t it be great if your customers could say the same about someone…and everyone on your team?  Find ways to focus on these three skills.  It will make a difference and I promise, your customers will notice..and tell others.  That’s what great customer service does.

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