Reviews of !!Amazing Service!!
As a creature of habit and serious caffeine addict I stop at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf nearly everyday on my way to work for my afternoon fix. I’ve been going to the Gainey Village location for about four years and the management and staff have turned over several times during that period. The great thing about patronizing any business repeatedly is the employees get to know you, become friendly and anticipate your needs. This happened very quickly after I started going there. It’s not like I spend a lot of money there either. I always get a regular coffee and sometimes an energy drink. Even so, after only a few visits, all the baristas recognized me on my way in the door and had my coffee waiting for me at the register. If, on occasion, there was a long line, they would set my coffee to the side, let me put my money down in its place and allow me to avoid waiting. It doesn’t sound like much but it’s the small gestures in life that can brighten your day. After the whole staff was replaced or rotated out the first time, I assumed things would change; yet somehow the new staff took up right where the old one left off. The most amazing thing is that because the employees of any particular CBT&L are often encountered working at other locations, I’ve had the surprise pleasure of being recognized and having my order waiting for me at branches I hardly ever go to. 12/6/2011
I often stop at the Scottsdale Safeway on Chaparral on my way home from work around 11PM to midnight. Ordinarily I don’t patronize Safeway’s very much because I find their enforcement of customer service policies to be a little creepy. Their employees are required to smile, address customers by name if possible, offer to carry out their groceries and tell them how much they’ve saved. Seems like a great idea except that I always smell the fear behind the fake smile. Safeway’s policy of enforcing people through secret shoppers to be pleasantly human upon pain of disciplinary letters, remedial training or termination is practically totalitarian in my view and counterproductive to providing good service. Others would certainly disagree and the topic is one I intend to expand upon at another time. Suffice it to say, that for me personally, the service at Safeway usually feels fake, robotic and makes me feel uncomfortable at the check-stand. So imagine my surprise when I discovered the amazing service of a very skillful lady who is usually the only checker working late at night. Perhaps because of its proximity to Old Town night clubs and a young population, the mostly deserted store usually has a pretty colorful array of customers on liquor and beer runs, eccentric night owl regulars, and stoners scavenging for munchies. There is always a line at the single check-out and I’ve observed, over and over, how this lady observes Safeway’s policies and still manages to relate to each and every customer by actually being interested and paying attention to them. When she cheerfully goes through the robotic necessities, she does it all with a wink and a nod that lets everyone know she has no choice but at the same draws you in. It’s as if she’s saying, isn’t it crazy the stupid things we all have to put up with in life, but at least we’re all in this together. She has a dry sense of humor but can always tell the difference between the customers that are bit too anesthetized to really engage, the ones who don’t want to be included in group conversations and the ones who might have no other social contact in their life other than her. Somehow she always knows when someone is holding up the line too long with their chit-chat and moves them along without making them feel rushed or dismissed. Occasionally there are toe-tappers who are in a big hurry, but amazingly most people seem to enjoy and look forward to joining her checkout line. It’s an artful thing to turn something as banal as checking out at a grocery store into something that creates a brief sense of community among strangers. Saddled as she is with compulsory phrases and gestures, this lady’s true interest and care for people shines through and is truly amazing! 11/10/2011