It's your thoughts that count - with service
We often cruise through our lives on auto pilot. We catch the same train at the same time to get to the same place we got to yesterday, or last week, or whenever. Sometimes I've found myself taking a certain route in my car with my thoughts so far away that I suddenly realise that this wasn't where I wanted to go to at all. Fortunately I haven't caused any accidents yet as I smile to myself and get my brain back into gear!
Last week I went to a meeting, as I habitually do at 8.00 in the morning at The Peppermill Café in Porirua. I ordered my usual coffee fix from the charming staff (who have become used to my ideosyncrasies). And I joined my meeting group who had all placed their respective orders.
We commented on the weather, which was exceptionally cold that morning. One of our group comes each week by train and he mentioned that he had caught an earlier train that morning and had arrived at The Peppermill at 7.20 am, ten minutes before it opened. We've all done that, haven't we? I can remember a time when I stood outside a shop in Porirua (that shall remain nameless) just a few minutes before 9.00 and had resigned myself to standing outside until the doors opened at 9.00 am. But they didn't! And I could see the sales people inside, chatting. And they could see me through the glass door. I looked, pointedly, at my watch. Nobody moved. Finally, at five past 9.00, one of the assistants sauntered (and I do mean sauntered) over to the door and opened it. 'We were just having a staff meeting', he said.
It's at times like this that your thoughts definitely count! I was speechless, which was probably just as well.
But this didn't happen to my meeting colleague. Ten minutes before opening time, he having had no other thought than that he was early and would have to stand outside until 7.30 am, the Duty Manager came across to the door and said, 'Come in, John, it's cold out there'.
'John' was astonished. It was ten minutes before opening time and he had absolutely no idea how the Duty Manager, Cherie Sapsford, knew his name.
Now that's service. The concept goes beyond customer service to being the 'hub of a community' and that memory is going to remain in John's thoughts, I suggest, for ever.