My Pedicure Experience – Relaxing to Ridiculous!

My pedicure might be one of my favorite hours. It is not so much the relaxation (you know that I can’t just sit there – I am working!) but how nice the outcome is with some freshly painted nails and smooth feet.

My recent pedicure started off well. The staff introduced themselves, gathered the tools they needed, asked what type of pedicure I wanted, and got to work.

Then it happened – the staff member’s (the one who was giving me a pedicure) cell phone beeped with a text.

She hid her phone from her boss to read the text. Whatever it said clearly made her angry! She continued to scrape my feet and boom! Another text! She again picked up her phone, read it and, get ready for this – she sent a text back!

So, back to my feet she went AGAIN. About twenty seconds later her phone beeped again, and she stopped (in mid toe), picked up her phone, and went out front.

No explanation. NOTHING.

So, I sat there, for ten (yes, ten) minutes and she was NOWHERE to be found.

I caught the owner’s eye and gesticulated “Where did she go?” with my hands. Clearly, the owner had not seen her leave. So in a different language, she asked the staff where she went. After she received a response, she waited for another employee to finish with another customer and had her finish my pedicure.

I never saw my original girl again.

On the way out the owner asked if everything was okay and also said she was sorry for the confusion. I am not convinced there was confusion as much as horrible customer service. Although I absolutely love going to this particular salon, I have not been back. It has really just left a terrible taste in my mouth.

What would you have done differently?

If you would like to learn more about me, please visit http://www.dawnmushill.com or email me at dawn@dawnmushill.com.  Make it a great day!

Way To Go, Lambert Airport, For WOWing Your Customers!

 

It’s no secret – everyone loves exceptional customer service, especially at times in which you least expect it or really need that extra smile and attention to detail. And while we may recognize and remember poor customer service (Negative stories sadly tend to make better conversation.), we should definitely do the same for excellent customer service that exceeds our every expectation.

Lambert-St. Louis International Airport did just that last month. The airport celebrated its second year of their “Catch Us Giving” Program in which the airport recognized customer service leaders, the unsung heroes of the airline industry.  Recognized were more than 100 airport employees during the reception.

The first ever “Catch Us Giving” Ambassador of the Year award was given to Samantha Hammock, who works at Starbucks as an employee of HMSHost. But why was she chosen? Well, her customers and colleagues strongly felt that she deserved the award because she exemplifies her non-stop energetic, positive attitude in the workplace, day in and day out. Her demeanor and helpfulness embodies the mission of excellent customer service at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.

Here are all the other winners for February’s “Catch Us Giving” program at Lambert Airport:

*Jessica Stepke – Southwest Airlines

*Millie Ocasio – Lambert Information Booth

*Tom Worshaw – Midwest Elevator

*Carmelle Costello – HMSHost

*Jacqueline Parker – HMSHost

*Yolanda Edmondson – Super Park

*Keith Burleson – International Ram

*Donnie Pool – Lambert Airport

*Jacie Price – Continental Airlines

*Samantha Hammock and Mekdes Sirage – HMSHost

*Mae Mahone – Lambert Information Booth

*Mildred Dee – TSA

*Brennen Hurt and Darian Callion – HMSHost

*Leslie Granadillo – Lambert Airport

*Reuben Jones – United Airlines

*John Conrades – TSA

*Reginald Rice – Lambert Airport

*Roland Brown – Huntleigh

*Lamont Rice – Lambert Airport

*Marilyn Sanders – Lambert Airport

*Angela Arms – Lambert Airport

*Anthony Capone – Air Tran

*Steven Rhodes – International Ram

*Dearest Wynn – Huntleigh

*Stephanie Morris – Lambert Airport

Congratulations to all the winners this month! I’m sure your company is exceptionally proud and thankful to have you as a member of their team.

And faithful readers, if you by chance are at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport in the near future and you see these great employees, be sure to congratulate them on a job very well done!

Hallmark – Really Sends the Very Best (Service, That Is)!

Hallmark - Really Sends the Very Best (Service, That Is)!I am a card girl and have been my entire life.  I believe that sending a handwritten card is something that everyone enjoys receiving.  It might be for a new grandbaby, an ill relative or even a “just because” card.

Of course, one of the best card selections is your local Hallmark store.  I should have taken out stock in Hallmark, given as much money as I have spent over my entire life!

My list for cards was large, so it was time to venture on to Hallmark.  The closest Hallmark for me is the Collinsville (Illinois) store.

As soon as the door opened, I heard a friendly voice say, “Welcome to Hallmark!” as she made eye contact with me.  She asked if she could assist me, and I explained my list of cards.  She graciously took me to show me where each type of card was.  I also mentioned that I would like a balloon bouquet and without missing a beat, she listened and whisked away to take care of what I needed.

You know, I am all about time management, so someone who was able to multitask with me is someone who is a WOW in my book.

I gathered my cards and in turning the corner, I heard one of the sales clerks explaining to another customer that clearance is 80% off.  Yep, so that got my attention.  I was perusing the deals and another clerk said, “If there is something in particular you are looking for, just let me know.”  Just about that time, the clerk arrived with my balloons and said, “Thank you for your patience.  I apologize for your wait.”

Wait?  I didn’t even feel like I was waiting!  To me, that is the true trick of having to wait – not feeling like you are waiting because the organization has helped with that wait time.

As I checked out, they reminded me that I could order my chocolate covered strawberries.  Mmmmmm.  I really wanted to but refrained (simply from a caloric point of view).  I used my debit card to pay for the transaction and I intentionally had not signed the back of the card.  The clerk asked for my ID. All of the staff were very friendly and clearly, high customer service expectations had been set for all.

Kudos to the owner of the Collinsville Hallmark.  YOU get it!

Longhorn -1, Red Lobster – 0

People, I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – perception is EVERYTHING! The last three lunch visits at Red Lobster (twice in Alton, once in Fairview Heights) have ended up the same way.  I get there, ask for a table for one and they hand me a blinking thing and say, “It will be twenty minutes.” But upon closer observation, there are no less than ten (yes, ten) tables available.

So one would say – do they want you to spend money at the bar?  Are they short staffed yet again?  Could the manager and two others who are seating you assist the waiters?

The last two times I stayed but this time I did not.  I could not believe they were asking me to wait with about twenty others, and they had all of these tables open.

So I went down the street to Longhorn.  They took me right in, sat me down, and I had a great waiter.  I explained what I did for a living and told him about my experience at Red Lobster.  He did note that they were a parent company and explained that it could have been a shortage of waiters.  So, I offered this – “Could they have just given each waiter one more table?”  He laughed and totally knew where I was coming from.

Come on, Red Lobster – why are you making us wait for those delicious cheesy biscuits?!

 

Cracker Barrel Takes you There- Literally!

 

I must admit – I am indeed a Cracker Barrel fan.  They have wonderfully crusted macaroni and cheese.  And, of course, thick cut bacon.  And you can’t forget the Coca Cola cake with ice cream!  I mean, who doesn’t love a good meal?!

But my experience did not stop at just a great meal when I was at the O’Fallon Cracker Barrel.  In this particular experience, I do not believe I could have improved anything in any way.

As I entered the lobby, of course, I heard the usual, “Welcome to Cracker Barrel,” but this greeting was a bit different.  The employee looked up and beamed at me; I could really tell that she had a smile in her voice, too.

As I approached the hostess station, I was greeted by a smiling, friendly face who said, “Welcome to Cracker Barrel! How many are in your party?” As he came out from behind the station, he walked over to the picture of the special of the day and explained the special while drawing my eye to the picture with his hands. He then said that the hostess would take me to my seat.

Yep, here’s where it gets good.

Usually, a person walking you to your table walks ahead of you and is waiting for you when you get to the table.  This is what I would usually call a missed opportunity but not in this case.  You see, the person actually walked with me and had a REAL conversation!  Wow, almost unheard of!  (By the way, businesses often tell me they do not have time to walk with the customer, to which I say, “It takes the same amount of time to wait for them there as it does to walk, talk, and build a relationship for ten seconds.”)

The hostess let us know the name of our waitress and quietly stepped away.  About ten seconds later an extremely friendly waitress approached and asked for my drink order.  You just knew by looking and talking with her that she loved her job and clearly did it very well.  I decided on a new dish, requesting the bacon be a bit crisp and sour cream on the side.  My tea was never left empty.  She just unassumingly slid in and filled it.

Oh, and when my food arrived – it included EVERYTHING I asked for.

Here is another WOW.  As I was finishing up my meal the waitress approached with another waiter, to let me know that her shift was ending and she wanted to introduce me to my new waiter.  WOW!  Really!  Okay, so get this, HE was just as friendly as SHE was!  It was crazy.  I just sat there in awe of it all.

As I finished up my plate, the waiter said, “Are you finished with your plate?” and I said, “I am thinking I couldn’t lick anything more off that plate,” and he responded with, “So no room for pineapple upside cake?”  WOW – an upsell.  So, of course, with that being said, I felt the need to – well, I HAD to order a dessert at that time, but made the choice of the Coca Cola Cake with ice cream.

At this point, I couldn’t hold back any more.  So, when he came back to the table, I gave him a card and explained that I owned my own customer service company and I wanted him to know that I would be blogging about him on my website.  When he brought the check and on my way out, I stopped to talk with the manager.  He was extremely grateful for my feedback, and it just so happened that others from the management team were at the table.  Every single one of them was nicer than the other.

What made this complete experience a WOW was just that – it was a complete experience.  Every detail was handled, every script was utilized (though without feeling scripted), and even the restroom was clean (An unclean restroom would have thrown this whole experience out the door.).

It’s true that you remember the lowest level of experience you’ve ever received.  I now challenge you to find something in this experience that wasn’t a WOW!  So, O’Fallon Cracker Barrel, I am going to say words that will just make your day – “I’ll be back!”