There are two or three grocery stores in the resort area where I vacation. There’s one I really like to go to and it has nothing to do with their prices (which are comparable or slightly higher than the other stores), the layout of the store, (not like the conventional grocery store with predictable aisles) or their selection (most times there is at least one item on my grocery list that they don’t carry). The reason I like to go to this grocery store is because of a particular cashier.
Miss Dolly, the name appearing on this cashier’s name badge, is a mature employee. I might guess that she is only a few years away from retiring, but I doubt that she would ever do that. Something tells me she is just getting started. She has eyes that sparkle, beautiful silver grey hair, and a 1000 watt smile that could, and does, light up a room.
She genuinely likes people even the tourists and vacationers who are always in a hurry, are sometimes surly, and only frequent her store once a summer. You would think that someone who has spent as many years as she has working with the public would become jaded and as miserable as some of the customers who come to her check-out lane.
But I’ve watched Miss Dolly operate from the store café across from the check-out lanes and every person who encountered her left that store with a smile, all because of something Miss Dolly said or did.
Here is what makes her customers feel special. She makes eye contact. She smiles. She engages her customers in conversation well beyond the obligatory, “Hello” and “Have a nice day!”
But the thing that I love the most about what she does is that she has a pet name for everyone who comes to her register. Sometimes she calls me Buttercup and sometimes she calls me Sunshine. Either way, she makes me feel special. In her eyes, maybe I am.
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When was the last time you exited an establishment with the feeling that your business was important to them? What did they do to make you feel this way?