Archive for 'Customer Service'

Foodie Friday: Spotlight on Voni Woods, Foodie Inspirer



What does it look like to make a career out of connecting with people over enthusiasm and enjoyment of great food? Today’s Foodie Friday blog gives us a clear and engaging picture as we shine the spotlight on Voni Woods, ‎Senior Director of Deli, Bakery and Specialty Cheese at Giant Eagle, Inc.



Posted in: Customer Service, Food and Drink, Food Experiences, Food Safety, Food Trends, Foodie Friday, Health and Diet, Industry Trends, Meat Industry, Supermarket

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Wanna Complain? Have at it…

Today’s Notable Quote: "If you feel cheated by a company for poor service or a faulty product, you have no shortage of ways to complain." – Kimberly Palmer, from today’s linked U.S. News and World Report.

Complainers have never had it so good. Providers of commodities, goods, services and experiences have never had it so…good either.  Complaints are best viewed by those in business as requests for better quality, service or Experiences.

In 2007, there are more ways than ever before to make sure that your voice is heard. Companies that seek to survive and thrive in this "feedback rich" environment will do well to heed the voice(s) of the consumer. Nine Keys to Lodging Effective Consumer Complaints

Angry_man_2 More ways than ever to "turn that frown upside down"…

Posted in: Customer Service

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Step away from the bird cages…let’s talk Starbucks…

Notable Quote: "Holy Experience venue, Batman…" – imagined quote from a modern-day "Robin" to his "cowl-clad mentor".

Starbucks continues to surpize and delight…

If you are one of the caffeine-addicted faithful, you know what I mean. Whether you satisfy your cravings by imbibing in a decadent coffee or tea, you know that Starbucks is about far more than the food and beverage business. The experience–or facsimile to which you are exposed in the typical shop is one that is seldom replicated in any other food/beverage venue.

This week, Starbucks stood "conventional consumerism" on it’s proverbial head with the stunt desribed in today’s linked article…Starbucks customers pay it backward


Give credit where credit is due…"Near Founder" Howard Shultz refers to the shops as "third places"–not home, not work…but an altogether differenct "third place".

Posted in: Customer Service

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Word of Mouth

Notable Quote: "The customer is always right." – Marshall Fields.

During the past week, I have faced one or more disappointing customer service experiences in no fewer than  5 states. Is this a harbinger for an epidemic of even worse service in the future?

Are customers always right? Maybe not, but even when they’re not, they play a major role in your (and my) company’s destiny. Without satisfied–or as some would say, delighted customers…each of us who operate a business of any size and type–despite our catchy slogans, names and campaigns – will soon be looking for work elsewhere.

Marshall Fields got it…do we?


Hot Dog Boy, doing his doggone best to satisfy and delight the customer.

Posted in: Customer Service

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Customer Service Encounter

Today’s Notable Quote: "Thank you, would you like a bag for that?" – spoken with a smile at the close of my transaction by Shanika at the Airport Book Shop.

Service with a smile. I’ve learned to never, ever take it for granted. It makes the transaction–and the rest of the day much more pleasant for me.

There are many ways to show kindness  and consideration to other human beings…but nothing beats a smile and a kind word. In this world, in which we often pass others with little thought or expectation of seeing them again, it’s nice to know that there are some sincerely nice people around.

Thank you Shanika.


Posted in: Customer Service

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Customer Chat

Today’s Notable Quote(s): "The customer’s ALWAYS right!"  "Goodwill is the only asset that competition cannot undersell or destroy." – Marshall Field (1834 – 1906) American businessman and publisher. Founded Marshall Field’s department stores.

The first quote is a nice sentiment. The second an absolute gem.

Field understood, as should each of us in business, that loyal, delighted customers are our most important "products". Every business activity in which we engage MUST FOCUS on delighting and exciting the customer. Only by providing the type of memorable service experience that such a focus brings, can we hope to build a reputation for excellence.

Posted in: Customer Service

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Random Service Impressions

Today’s Service Thought: "If you don’t have any customers, you should probably get into another line of work." – SD

I haven’t blogged for several days…primarily due to a very heavy travel schedule, jam-packed with curriculum writing, teaching and coaching presenters. During my travels, I have had a number of interesting interactions with service employees-some good, some bad, and some in-between.

One particularly notable experience was at a Marriott Hotel. This was my second visit to the property, and on both occasions, the staff and management performed at extraordinary levels. They went out of their way to ensure that every–and I mean EVERY interaction with a member of the staff was professional, pleasant and personal. VERY IMPORTANT to the "road-weary" business traveler…

Their outstanding service – service which stood out like a welcome oasis in the desert of mediocrity – has caused me to "rethink" where I stay when I am in that particular town. I am a sucker for kindness, caring and great customer service…


Posted in: Customer Service

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There is No Substitute…for People

Today’s Notable Quote: "There is no substitute for performance." – Anonymous author–sign on my Father’s office wall.

As I travel the country, I see food retailers continuing to seek a competitive edge in today’s marketplace. Lately, many have turned to "Natural", "Organic", "Free-range", "Minimally Processed", etc. claims to differentiate themselves from one another.

In reality, virtually any and every retailer has access to the same, or "like type" products. It is for this, and other reasons that supermarkets, drug stores, supercenters, etc. should determine who they are, what they do well…and do it.

Most of the time, this decision involves people–not just products. The people of any company are the "standard bearers" for the company. They ar the "face" of the organization to the consumer. Without strong people contributing to a culture that supports the values and mission of the company–product selection and pricing is a weak differentiator. These factors may get the retailer into the consumer’s "selection set"…but will not necessarily insure that they are the store of choice.

One of the finest food retailers in the country is Wegmans Food Markets. They reflect this philosophy throughout their operation. Their "people mission" is stated explicitly and prominently throughout their stores, their offices and on the backs of their manager’s and executive’s business cards.  Here’s what it says…


Posted in: Customer Service

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We don’t got ’em…we don’t take ’em

Question of the day: Are "toll-takers" required to complete any type of customer service training? A recent experience in the Chicago area was simultaneously funny, sad, and revealing…

As I pulled into the toll station, I prepared to hand over my $1 bill in exchange for a "paid receipt". Before giving the station attendant my money, I noticed a sign posted on the exterior wall of the unit, which read "No $100 Bills". In an effort to add levity to the attendant’s daily grind, I pointed to the sign and said "So, you don’t have any hundred dollar bills? Me either…". After looking at me as though I had just committed a felony, she grunted (today’s Notable Quote) "uh…that means we DON’T TAKE ANY $100 BILLS!". Relieved that she had "set me straight", I smiled and headed on my way.

So much for humor in the serious workplace of roadside change-making. Have a nice day!


Posted in: Customer Service

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It’s Magic

Today’s Notable Quote: "There is real magic in enthusiasm. It spells the difference between mediocrity and accomplishment." – Norman Vincent Peale (1898 – 1993) US pastor, author, The Power of Positive Thinking, 1952.

Great service–delivered by enthusiastic people results in an incredible experience. Mediocre service–delivered by unmotivated people results in mundane, forgetable experiences.

People–more than the environment, the fixtures, the pricing, the product or service itself…make the difference between the incredible and the forgetable.

People make MAGIC!


A friendly, enthusiastic greeting works like MAGIC to brighten a customer’s day!

Posted in: Customer Service

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