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  Service Stars

A bookstore clerk who searched the store to find the book a customer requested

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.

It would have been easy for Kristy to give up and walk away.  There were several points during my recent visit to Indigo Books in South Edmonton Common when she could have appropriately said that she couldn’t find the book.  But she hung in there until I had what I wanted.

My mother had asked me to watch for a new gardening book that she planned to give to her granddaughter, and Indigo was near where I was visiting.  Entering the store, I went directly to the service desk.  “I can’t help you,” the woman behind the counter said in response to my inquiry.  “I’m too busy serving customers (translation: taking their money) to help.  See someone on the floor.”

Kristy was the next person I saw, standing in the middle of the section devoted to music and movies.  As I approached, I anticipated being told that she was a “music specialist,” and  I would have to speak to a “book specialist.”

That’s not what Kristy did.  She led me across the store to the gardening books.  What was I looking for?  “What Grows Here . . . by Jim Hole.”

As I searched the shelves, Kristy offered to check the inventory on the computer.  “It says we have it,” she reported moments later.

When neither of us could find it, she called up an assistant manager for assistance.  He, too, was unable to locate the book.  He suggested that Kristy check in the back.  Perhaps the book had only just arrived and had not yet been shelved.

He was right.  In a few minutes she returned, book in hand.  Thanking her, I proceeded to the service desk where the women I first encountered was still serving customers.  She seemed happy to take my money.


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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