For many years I frequented to a corner grocery store called Sunshine Market. I probably visited at least four times a week, and then one day it dawned on me that these people never recognized me, nor acknowledged me as a ‘regular’. I didn’t expect that they would fawn all over me, or even know my name, but it would have been great to hear ‘nice to see you today’ or some little chit chat. Instead, nothing, just a blank stare as they looked through me and offered an uninspired ‘thank you’.
NO ‘SUNSHINE’ THERE
I was just one of the many people who chose to give their money to this particular store, so one day I decided that I would stop going to this store. They just didn’t value my business, so why should I go there? I never went back. I had been spending, on average, $25 each time I went it, so even with my bad math that’s $100 a week or $5200 a year that walked out their door.
READY HELLOS AND HUGS EVEN!
In a recent Edible magazine article, “Great Good Places”, Charlene Dy tells the story of Granger Grocery store, on 16th and Heather. There was a time that this place was another one of those not-so-sunny stores. where you forked over your money for a bag of Cheetos or a lottery ticket. But, that was before Connie Kim and Jamie Comeau decided to create a place where people ‘know you name’. It’s called Connie’s Cookin’ and it’s a place that makes great Korean homemade lunches, treats customers in a welcoming way with a ready hello and willingness to chat. Parents bring their kids in for an after-school snack and as Charlene Dy writes, “for an after-school hug”. Now that’s friendly!
PEOPLE WANT TO BE SEEN
As Don Peppers says in an article, “Recognize Your Customers If You Want Their Trust”, one of the five requirements for being trustable as a business is simply to “demonstrate humanity… all we’re really talking about is showing empathy and respectful familiarity to our customers, almost as if they were our personal friends.”
IT’S ABOUT THE RELATIONSHIP, PURE AND SIMPLE
You don’t have to be standing behind a counter or in a retail environment for this to matter. Success in work and life is all about relationships and it doesn’t take much to make people feel appreciated and seen! Where do you go where people treat you the way Connie treats her customers?