Our QuickNote story is from Antonio in Indiana, an Outstanding! reader.
John, I ordered Outstanding! the minute it was released, and have applied the principles to my personal and professional life. My staff has done the same—and we have seen our business move in an outstanding direction. So, I want to share an “outstanding” story with you that I experienced!
I phoned in a “carry out” lunch order to our local McAlister’s Deli for two grilled chicken salads. The gal on the phone told me they would be ready in five minutes. When I arrived ten minutes later the place was packed with a line of customers reaching the sidewalk.
Slipping up to the counter, I learned from the cashier my order had gotten lost. She apologized for the mistake and told me she’d resubmit it “priority” status. When I moved to the side to wait, the Be Outstanding! Moments began.
Be Outstanding! Moment #1:
As she continued to take orders, the cashier offered me a drink on the house. She had already addressed my problem, but rather than ignore me waiting in the wings, she made sure I did not feel forgotten.
Be Outstanding! Moment #2:
Not more than two minutes later the manager came by and apologized. I never even asked to see the manager about this issue. It just wasn’t that big of a deal!
Be Outstanding! Moment #3:
The manager gave me two complementary meal cards for my next visit, saying, “Please come back and see us again. Next time we’ll get it right.” He offered no excuses about being busy or some “trainee” making a mistake.
Be Outstanding! Moment #4:
The manager started walking up and down the line of patrons. I wondered what he was doing. When he got closer I was able to hear for myself: He was taking drink orders for people and apologizing for the wait. The manager himself was out with the customers. The most outstanding part was nobody was complaining! He was doing this, I assume, because he knows it’s the right way to treat his customers.
Be Outstanding! Moment #5:
My order was ready. After grabbing it and heading toward the door, I realized I had not paid. When I turned and asked the cashier for my total, she said, “Don’t worry about it; your lunch is on us today!”
John, every action I saw them take was designed to avoid what you write about in Outstanding! where you say, “People fire organizations.” Not wanting their customers to vote with their dollar and go somewhere else the next time they’re hungry, this organization went the extra mile at every turn.
Not only do I intend to continue giving McAlister’s Deli my business, I have told countless people about my positive experience. The fact they lost my order is the furthest thing from my mind. That stuff happens. It’s how an organization reacts to their mistakes that will determine if it is “Outstanding!”
Antonio, you’ve said it well. Organizations do not become outstanding overnight. Nor do they fail in a day. Outstanding moments lead to outstanding experiences which lead to the building of outstanding organizations. Remember to make the moments exceptional.
And, if you believe in exceptional customer service, enjoy this week’s guest on the Be Outstanding! show. Lisa Ford is a delight—as well as an expert in this arena. Our next show will be up Monday May 3rd and features author and life coach, Dan Miller. If you’re still looking for the “work you love”—tune in!
Lastly, on a personal note, my wife of thirty years, Karen, and I became grandparents last week! Yep, our oldest of seven—Kristin Lindeen—and my speaker colleague here at QBQ, Inc., gave birth to Joshua. And believe me, he is an outstanding little guy in every way!
John G. Miller