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  Service Stars

Service providers who use teamwork to satisfy a customer

Satisfactory customer service is seldom memorable. What is memorable is poor service and service that goes the extra mile. Sometimes it only takes a small gesture to change a routine customer service experience into one we will recall months later, we will tell others about and will cause us to become repeat customers. Those who do those little extras are truly Service Stars.

Having seen one, we decided that we needed a collection of assorted greeting cards that our daughter has purchased at Costco. We searched up and down the aisles of the store near Edmonton’s Yellowhead Trail.

While we found several items we just had to have, the boxes of cards were nowhere to be seen.  Concluding the store was sold out, we proceeded to the checkout. As the cashier scanned our purchases, we mentioned that we had come in search of the greeting cards collection. Sherry knew exactly what we were talking about.  She had purchased a box of cards herself the previous week.

Certain that there were more cards somewhere in the store, she asked Geoff who was packing boxes nearby to retrieve the collection that we were looking for. She also asked her supervisor Brad to bring the “rain check” binder and authorize our use of the discount coupon that had expired the previous week.

We paid for our purchases, including the greeting cards, and waited for Geoff to return. When Geoff reappeared, he had two boxes of greeting cards.

We soon understood why he had been so long.  Geoff explained that he had first gone to where the cards had been displayed the previous week, but found none. Choosing not to abandon his quest, he asked someone working in the area about the cards and was sent elsewhere in the store. Still no cards, only advice from another employee to check in a third location.  Once there he found the last three boxes in the store, partially hidden behind other merchandise.

Services providers working as a team can make a difference for customers, but there are inherent risks.  A cashier who believes that her only job is to take money. A supervisor who is bound by expiry dates. A courtesy clerk who reports, “I can't find it” when what the customer wants isn’t where it is supposed to be.  A customer service team works only when all members do their job...and a little more.


Nelson Scott offers several Customer Service Presentations, including Customer Service MAGIC: Changing Complainers into Loyal Customers; What Your Mother Taught You About Customer Service and other Training Resources developed by Service Quality Institute and the Vital Learning Corporation.


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A professional trainer, speaker, and consultant since 1995, Nelson Scott works with organizations that are committed to making the right hiring decisions, developing and retaining productive staff, and strengthening relationships with customers.  Learn more by visiting or e-mailing


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