We’ve arrived at the last FI Friday for Fall 2009. Thanks for your feedback on this series of posts!
Earlier this week I had a major first impressions faux pas. I was at a local tire establishment, getting new tires put on my ’93 Honda Accord (which, for the record, is like buying high heels for an 89 year old wheelchair-bound grandma). I’ve been to this particular business several times for oil changes, so the guys behind the counter are familiar faces, although we’re far from being on a first-name basis.
Until this week.
As one guy waited on me, the shop manager came walking in from the bay. He grinned widely and said, “Good morning, Danny!”
Of course, I was immediately impressed that he remembered my name, and responded with a “Good morning!” of my own. And then I noticed another guy who had walked in with him…one with an embroidered patch on his shirt that said – you guessed it – “Danny.”
Trying to save face, I said, “Sorry about that. I didn’t realize there were two Dannys in the room. I was about to be very impressed that you knew my name.”
He replied, “But I was talking to you. I’ll be honest, though…I ran your tag number when you pulled into the parking lot so I could remember your first name. My memory’s not that good.”
Regardless of whether he remembered my name or not, my tire guy won the “impress me” award for the week. He did lots of very basic things right, like greeting me with a smile and calling me by name. But to do that, he had added the special touch of paying attention to the cars that pulled into the parking lot, running the tag (which he had in the computer from a previous visit), being prepared for me when I walked in, and making a point of using my name in a conversation.
If we’re going to get our guest’s attention and build a relationship with them, we have to impress them. It can be as simple as knowing their name or remembering their seating preference or getting eye-level with their kids to make sure they’re welcomed too, but impressing a guest is something we can’t overlook. How will you impress somebody this weekend?