My buddy, Sean, owns a toy store in Cary, North Carolina called Science Safari. I am sharing his story as he posted it on FB …
“Weird occurrence… It’s happened twice in the last week. I certainly don’t mind, but I’ve never seen it in 30 years of retail nor ever thought of doing it as a parent…
“I had two people print up their own (unauthorized/counterfeit) Science Safari Gift Certificates and give them to their child. One for a class and one for $10 from the Tooth Fairy (side note, what kind of Tooth Fairy hands out $10 notes?!?).
“The parents made good on them, giving me the money on the sly.
“Strange, but I’ll take your money.”
Yes, two different parents had the idea to print up unauthorized gift certificates to his store and give them to their kids. What would your first thought be if a customer handed you an unauthorized gift certificate?
Then the parents paid him on the sly for those “gift certificates” and the kids got to use them in the store.
Three thoughts come to mind.
First, Sean should be honored that parents, when trying to come up with a cool last-minute gift, thought of his store first. That’s when you know you’re already playing the customer service game right.
Second, here are a couple of parents who need to work on their planning ahead skills.
Third, and most importantly, as strange as this occurrence was, Sean and his team didn’t hesitate one second to allow it to happen. “Strange, but I’ll take your money.” Sean served those customers the way they wanted to be served. Sean made those last-second-forgot-to-plan-ahead customers look like heroes to their kids. Sean said, “Yeah, we’ll take care of you.”
As Teddy Roosevelt said, “Whenever you are asked if you can do a job, tell ’em, ‘Certainly I can!’ Then get busy and find out how to do it.”
That, my friends, is what winning the customer service game looks like.
PS Making your customers feel like, look like, or be the hero is always the right thing to do. Always.
PPS If you live anywhere near Cary, NC, put Science Safari on your radar. It is definitely a store worth visiting.