I love experiencing great service. In short, I feel good! In the scheme of things, I have a collection of service examples that stand out. As with many things in life, it is the almost there but did not make it examples that stand out.
One is a regular occurrence. My favorite coffee shop has three great points. They remember you, serve a great latte, and provide a free copy of the FT (Financial Times). On a regular basis, they hit their mark. They have the potential to be outstanding, however there is one odd quirk.
Their business hours begin at 7.30 on weekdays. Usually they are in early, getting ready. The lights are on, air conditioning running, and you are always welcomed with bright smiles. The catch is a simple one. While they will take your order, prepare your latte, they will not serve the latte or collect your money until precisely 7.30.
When I asked, the explanation was direct and to the point. “Our boss gets extremely upset with us when we open before 7.30. We would like to serve you but he gets angry with us when we start too early.”
I would like to say that I always exercise every principle I believe in. I usually do. I wonder if I stop when I come to the easy boundary. Do I ever go beyond the normal?
In contrast, I was recently on a flight with a Japanese flight attendant. Her attention and kindness had no limits. Initially I thought I was special. As I paid attention, I realized that for her, service was a way of doing her job. Each passenger was a living opportunity to make a positive difference. Rowdy children were an excuse to help a parent. Uncertain mature passengers became an opportunity to let them know that someone cared. Even seasoned travelers needed a reminder that this was a company that appreciated their business.
I am reminded of the truth of another’s observation; “God’s Way is not a matter of mere talk; it’s an empowered life.” (1 Corinthians 4.20)