Several years ago, we hired a consultant to carefully observe how our staff engages with our customers. Among the things he reported after three days with a stopwatch and a notepad: on average, every customer was ‘greeted’ 1.7 times on every visit. He carefully counted not only the verbal greetings, but eye contact with a nod and smile… or a wave with an even bigger smile.
We also discussed how our staff handled situations with customers who were, to put it tactfully, “having a bad day”… and, if necessary, personally delivering the message:
“I would love to help you out… which way did you come in?”
Did they freeze up and call “the boss?” Most businesses have “standard operating procedures” for touchy situations and bring management into the discussion at a much earlier stage than we do at Jericho. For businesses with a large number of employees and/or high turnover, this is certainly a prudent way of operating.
As a family owned business, we are blessed with the opportunity to coach and mentor, and with so many plants to hide behind, we are able to be a lot closer to the action than most realize.
It’s so gratifying to see the results of empowering you to make decisions, and watching you call on each other when you feel there is a better or more diplomatic answer than you have in mind at the moment. Watching you as you gain experience and become a "go to" for other staff members is even more rewarding.
And then there’s that ‘Mom and Pop’ thing… the challenge of working at a family owned business with husband and wife as active on-site managers… how quickly you learn the subtleties of hierarchy and the respect that we all have for each other.
Society doesn’t teach us to “under promise and over deliver.” It’s not a class in school; it’s not a message from the media. It may not even be “cool” or “trending.”
But it’s what you do, day after day.
We just want to make sure you know that we notice, as that consultant commented in his final report: “You enhance people’s lives.”
Thank you, Gardening Angels
Richard and Jennifer