This summer we had the privilege of traveling to a small town outside of Atlanta named Ball Ground to attend the wedding of a good friend’s daughter. There was just one main street that ran through Ball Ground, Georgia with small shops lining the road. One of the spots that caught our attention was a set of food trailers called “Dominics.” One of the trailerers offered a variety of food and the other served up home made ice cream. The trailers were out in front a small store that sold craft items, many homemade. While we browsed in the store, the owner of the store approached us and let us know that she makes all the ice cream that is sold in the trailer outside.
The young girl working the ice cream trailer was very friendly and asked us what brought us to town and shared which of the homemade ice creams was her favorite. We each selected a flavor and got a couple of scoops in a cone. It was great ice cream! We were about halfway finished when the owner of the trailers stopped by our table to check on us and make sure we were enjoying our ice cream. We visited for a few minutes and he shared how he had decided to move his food trucks to this location. He was very nice and thanked us for choosing his spot for our afternoon treat.
Everyone has probably had a similar experience while traveling and stopping in a small town for a meal or to do some shopping. Why do you typically have a better customer service experience there when compared to a spot in a larger city?
The truth is that it does not have to be that way!
It comes down to the individuals who are interacting with the customer and how they are trained. Do they proactively engage their customers? Do your employees have a sense of ownership for the product or service they are selling? They do not have to actually own the company, but do their leaders instill a sense of pride in what they are selling.
Make it a point to offer “Small Town Service” wherever you are employed. In a time in our history when everyone is in a hurry and impatient to buy what they come to get, focus on the relationship with each customer and slow down enough to understand their needs. If you work in a large organization in a big city, you will stand out even more when you create an exceptional customer experience.