Although the incident occurred twenty-five years ago, I remember it as if it was yesterday. My business mentor, Jim, and I were meeting for breakfast at a nationally-known franchise in a central Iowa town. It was his turn to order for both of us as we each had our usual—a bacon & egg biscuit with a cup of coffee.
While still at the counter, my friend removed the wrapper from his breakfast sandwich to see if an irritating and recurring service problem had improved. As CEO of his own company, he was keenly aware of how people at the front desk represented his lumber business in a favorable or unfavorable light.
It was immediately apparent from the look on Jim’s face that he was not a happy camper, “Look at this biscuit,” he complained to the teenager on the opposite site of the counter. “It’s falling apart in my hands. Just like the last time. And the time before that!”
Frankly, the young employee could not possibly have been less interested in his customer’s dilemma. He looked bored and disinterested when responding, “What’s the deal, mister? Ya’ want a new biscuit?”
“What I want,” explained my exasperated buddy through gritted teeth “is someone who cares.”
Wow! I don’t know if the bored teenager learned anything that day, but I learned a ton.
I’ve reflected on Jim’s reaction about the crumbly biscuit many times in my dealings with customers in the corporate world through the years; and it’s a mantra that I repeat often to myself as I’ve established a freelance writing and writing coach business.
In your case and mine, our clients and prospects expect and deserve a quality product from us. But just as importantly, they deserve someone who cares.
Bill Sheridan 8106 Brookview Drive Urbandale, IA 50322 515.669.4913