Acknowledging Your Tip

As a server you should never count your tips in front of a customer, but acknowledging that you got a tip and are grateful for said tip should be done.  Few places do this better than Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop and Cold Stone Creamery.  If you have never been to these places or have but did not tip here is what you missed.

At Capriotti’s anytime a tip is dropped into their TIP jar, the cashier yells, “we got a tip,” to the crew behind the counter who then yell, “thank you” in return.  At Cold Stone Creamery it’s even more intense.  Anytime a tip is given they sing one of the many songs they have to thank you for the tip.

Acknowledging the tip let’s your customers know that you truly do appreciate their tip and don’t automatically expect it when they order.  Now you don’t have to take it to these extremes but make sure you at least smile and thank them.  Especially in these tough times, you should be grateful for every tip big or small.

Too many servers these days EXPECT a tip in order to give good service when they should be giving good service in order to EARN a tip.  Providing good service from the start and showing gratitude for your tips are great ways to show you don’t expect anything and really do earn what you receive.

Until next time, how do you show your customers you appreciate them and the tips they give you?  Let me know in the comments below.


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Stop Telling Your Customers Goodbye!

This is something I work into my everyday life, not just with my customers or while I am working.  Take “goodbye” out of your vocabulary.  The word “goodbye” has a long-term, almost permanent feel to it that just rubs me the wrong way.  I prefer the term “see you later,” or something along those lines.  Say something that insinuates that you will be seeing them again in the near future.


My typical departure with a customer will include a question about how everything was followed with a, “okay well I will see you next time!”  For me this does two things: it gives the customer that warm fuzzy feeling that has come up so many times before, and it gets them thinking about their next visit already!  As a business owner, or employee, this should be the main goal in the end anyways.


As I said, I try to incorporate this idea into my everyday life, not just at work.  If you noticed, every blog post since the beginning has ended with “Until next time.”  Whether or not the science behind is there or not, I think it is a great habit to get into, plus it helps end all your conversations on a more positive note. 


Until next time, work on taking “goodbye” out of your vocabulary, and feel free to comment with any tips or tricks that you use to help get your customers to come back.


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Don’t Take it Personally

It wouldn’t be a normal day in the service industry if you didn’t get a customer that was just in an all around bad mood.  The type of customer that comes in and is ready to complain about everything to the first employee they see.  There are many ways you can choose to handle these situations, some that are effective, and some that are a little counter productive. 
The first thing you have to do when you encounter a customer like this is realize that whatever they are complaining about probably has NOTHING to do with you.  It’s their work, home, family, sports team, or anything else out there that can piss someone off.  You also have to realize that no matter what it is, at that moment in time, it is your fault.  Why, I don’t know, it just is!


So here are your options for there.  You can either get defensive and argue with the customer about whatever stupid topic it is.  Or you can smile, nod, and give them good service providing whatever it was they needed.  If you start to argue back with them, it will only make them more mad and argumentative, which probably won’t end, well for you, them, or both.  Option two is probably the more effective choice of the two, by smiling and providing the service they needed you can turn there day around.


Last step is to forget about that customer and the negative encounter right after they walk away.  The last thing you want is for that negative experience to affect the way you treat the customers that follow.


Until next time, make sure you provide great service, even to the not so happy costumers.  You never know, it could turn their day around.  Let me know how you handle THAT customer?



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The Importance of the Greeting

This may sound like common sense and this post might seem pointless to you, but far too many times do I watch employees NOT greet their customers upon arrival.  That is one of the BIGGEST mistakes you can make and if you or your employees are guilty of just letting customers slide in without an acknowledgement… FIX IT!!!


There are tons of studies out there that will say how much more likely people are to buy something if they are greeted and how many more items it is.  Well to make it easy, it’s A LOT!


It doesn’t have to be much, a simple hi and smile at the door would do, but if you want to go beyond that, you can.  Ask how their day is going, guide them to where they need to go, tell them something obvious like the weather outside.  It doesn’t matter (to an extent) what you say as long as they know that you know they are there.


I have watched customers walk into places, stand there for 5 or so minutes, and turn around and leave.  Now I am not saying that it happens solo because they do not get greeted, but what I can say, there is a better chance they would have stayed if they were.  Maybe they left for another reason; if an employee greeted them the employee could have fixed whatever it was that made that particular customer want to leave in the first place.


In the end greeting your customer let’s them know you noticed them, and that you are ready to help them when they need your service.  Not greeting your customer says, “I don’t care about you or your business so you minds well kiss my ass and take a hike.”  I don’t know what strategy you prefer, but from my experiences I know which one works.


So until next time, please remember to greet all your customers.  Yes, every single one that comes through your doors.  Feel free to leave a comment with any of your stories, comments, or thoughts.



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Where to Draw the Line?

April 17, 2012 2 comments

Now don’t get me wrong, I am big on tipping, but not every service job requires nor deserves a tip. Restaurants, coffee shops, valet parking, car washes, and list can go on for a while if I really wanted to try to think about all of the places that I have seen a tip jar.  One place I never expected was a Dairy Queen so when I saw a tip jar after ordering a Blizzard a little bit ago it got me thinking… Where do we draw the line?  What is the service requirements needed to be met that makes that particular job, task, or duty one of the ones that you are supposed to tip for?  What makes the person giving you a $4 cup of coffee more deserving than the one giving you a $4 ice cream?


When I looked into the situation a little bit deeper I realized it shouldn’t matter what place you are in if it determines whether or not the person deserves a tip, it should solo matter on how they served you.  How well did they treat you and provide you with the need things or even some entertainment.  I began to realize that every single time I have ever been into a Starbucks, I have had to grab my drink when they were finish.  At Dairy Queen, my Blizzard was delivered to me at my table and she flipped the cup over on her walk up to show me the consistency was right.


You don’t have to tip just because you are in a coffee shop and you aren’t banned from tipping just because you are in a fast food restaurant.  From now on, when it comes to those place that you don’t know if you should tip or not, don’t think about the location and base your decision solo on the service you receive.  If they provided exceptional service and deserve it, tip them.  If they didn’t, then don’t, simple as that.


Oh and by the way, I did end up tipping that Dairy Queen server and I only tip for coffee if they go above and beyond since then.


Until next time, what are some of the places you never know if you are supposed to tip or not?  What did you end up doing in your situation?  Leave your stories in the comments below.



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Sell Yourself First

“Sell yourself first and the product second,” is the piece of sales advice I received just the other day and I couldn’t agree more.  The fact that customer service is being provided means that someone paid for that service or is about to pay for a product and the service is just leading up to the sale.  Too many times the sales person only tries to sell the product and only focuses on that one thing.

You have a much better chance at selling your product if there is a trust worthy person representing it and not just a product standing by itself.  A person that has used or experienced the product and knows the truth about it, it could be anything from food to electronics, a car to some out-door equipment.

Once you’ve sold yourself, selling the product will be easy and in the long run be more profitable.  The first sale may not have been the most expensive item available but if it was the right one for the customer and you sold yourself well, that customer will come to you every time from that point on.

If the product is good enough to sell itself on its own then there really isn’t a need for a sales associate in the first place.  It is almost like your job dependson you selling yourself.

Until next time, what is a place that you go where the employees sell themselves first and then the product?


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Doing It Right at Windy Moon

I was in need of a place to customize some clothes for me with some nice embroidering.  After asking around and searching online for a bit a friend referred me to Windy Moon Quilts.   Damn am I glad for that.

I stopped in yesterday, April 11, to talk to them about what I needed done.  They don’t sell clothes so you provide your own, in my case it was a sweatshirt, and I still had to buy it. By the time I got back it was almost 6:00pm, but they closed at 5:30.  I immediately called them and asked if there was anyway I could drop it off.  They luckily were all still there and opened the door for me.  After going over all the options and finalizing what I wanted done it was about 6:15 and they were happy to help me with all my requests and said goodbye with a smile.

To cap off the great service they gave me yesterday after hours even, they continued their great service today.  This morning they called to confirm the spelling, which I’d rather them call and double check than make the mistake.  A couple hours later, less then 24 hours after I dropped it off, they called to let me know it was finished!  I went down as soon as I could to see the finished product, and I couldn’t be happier with it.  A huge thanks to Mike at Windy Moon Quilts for his help.

Until next time, have any good service lately? Tell me about it in the comments.


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