It was a busy morning, made even more so by having to FedEx a Visa application for my husband while on the way out of town. While he was in Walgreens having a passport photo taken to accompany the application, I went into the FedEx store next door to begin the paperwork processing, thinking that doing so would expedite the process. I was wrong. But what began as a frustrating delay ended as a “WOW” customer experience.
As is often the case, when we are in a hurry, everyone else seems to be in slow motion. There were three people ahead of me in line being waited upon by one FedEx staff member, and one man being helped by another who was trying to locate a package for him that no one could find. To their credit, the FedEx staff members stayed calm and focused on the person before them, seeming unaware of the others of us needing assistance. I wasn’t sure if I could start addressing the envelope, therefore saving time while I waited my turn, or if that needed to be done by it being typed in. When I could get the attention of the staff member, I asked him that question, and was told (of course) that he would need to type it in. So I waited for what seemed like forever, although it was probably no more than ten minutes, which is a long time when you are in a hurry. When my turn finally came, I made the comment to the FedEx man that they needed more help, to which he replied, “It is always this way.” He said it as matter of fact, not seeming to complain, just agreeing with me. My point was not to complain, but to recognize that the two of them were doing their best to serve the customers, but it was taking longer than most people would probably prefer. I also made a mental note to avoid this particular FedEx store when I am in a hurry, which is always! But I had changed my mind about that by the time I left.
What made the difference? The service. For I noticed several things while waiting. I noticed that the staff did not get frustrated; they handled each customer as the only one that mattered when the customer was in front of them. They were pleasant and competent, and even efficient. But the real difference in this experience and so many others I have had was what was said when I was leaving. As I said, “Thank you” and gathered my belongings, the FedEx staff member smiled and said, “Please come back!” And it was obvious that he meant it. He did not say, as so many do, “Have a nice day,” which is not nearly as effective in showing appreciation for the customer’s business as, “Please come back.” In fact, when teaching customer service, I recommend that the words, “have a nice day” not even be used, for they do not really connect the customer to the business. These words are especially ineffective when they are used at the end of the day, which is often the case! Other words that can be used effectively are, “We appreciate your business,” or “I look forward to seeing you next time.” And of course there are others. These statements show the customer that he is valued by the business.
Let me end by saying, “I appreciate you!” I appreciate that you take the time to read my comments, and give me feedback. After all, the only business that any of us is really in is the relationship business. And FedEx knows this, for when I googled them to make sure I was recording the name correctly, the first thing I saw was the words, “Come and visit us today.”
A visit, not a transaction. FedEx knows the difference.