Today I was running late for lunch, and as often is the case, I stopped to get fast food, but not just any place would do. I needed a dose of Frank - quite possibly the best fast food window associate that I have ever encountered.
Frank always greets customers with an exuberance that cannot be described. He is supremely knowledgeable of his product line, and efficient in walking you through your choices. He doles out cheer with his fast food much like Santa doles out cheer with the candy canes he gives to good girls and boys.
In a recent customer service seminar, I was asked to share my best customer service experience ever, and I shared my secret with everyone. When I am needing a boost in my day, I go to this particular fast food restaurant for a dose of Frank's good cheer. I was shocked to hear that a great many in the room had also encounter Frank, and felt the exact same way as me. Does Frank know how many lives he has touched? Probably not. I have never told him myself - for fear of holding up the VW bug who is anxiously waiting behind me in line.
In every interaction you have with someone, you have the chance to greet them with cheerfulness and exuberance - which will almost always be returned in kind. You will never know how many lives you have touched - because most people will not share that information with you, but the next time you go out of your way to be nice to someone, whether it be through an enthusiastic phone greeting, or holding the door for someone, know that it is the little things that sometimes make the most difference in people's lives. If you avoid contact with others, they will avoid contact with you. If you seek out contact with others, and add to that contact a joyfulness in your interaction, you stand a chance at making that person's day - like Frank has for me so many times.
Copyright © 2005 Kim Patterson
Follow-up January 23, 2006:
Before I submitted my story to you, we shared it with upper management within Taco Bell, and they let us know how lucky they were to have Frank on their team. We also found that Frank had given speeches to local organizations on customer service, so we had him come to our company to share his wisdom. Frank, we found out, is the General Manager of the local Taco Bell, and since he was sent to this store a few years ago, the sales in his store have doubled (no surprise to us). He works the drive-thru every day. What a great example he sets for his workers by rolling up his sleeves and working side by side with them!
His speech to our group was so inspiring that everyone left with a new perspective on customer service, and hungry for tacos. I will be so excited to let Frank know that you felt our story was worthy of publication. Thank you for your wonderful site. I have drawn great inspiration from it!!!!