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  Service Stars

A waitress who knows her regulars’ preferences

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.

Sometimes you want to go
Where everybody knows your name,
And they’re always glad you came;

—excerpt from the “Cheers” theme song

Most of my Tuesdays begin the same way.  I arrive at the Sawridge Inn and Conference Centre around 7:00 a.m. for my weekly Rotary club meeting. Melinda greets me with a smile.  Within moments, she places a steaming pot of Earl Grey tea in front of me.  I never have to ask.  She always remembers my preference.

As they arrive, other members are received in a similar way.

Melinda, who is a supervisor at the restaurant, seems to remember everyone’s preference.  Some look forward to their first cup of coffee.  Melinda is there for them.  Others prefer tea, water, or juice.  Melinda remembers.

This may appear to be a small thing, but small things such as this make a big difference to our experience.  The way Melinda remembers her guests makes all of us feel that she values us as individuals.  We are not just customers who are there to have a meal, pay the bill and be on our way. 

By making us feel welcome, and knowing a little bit about each of us, Melinda truly does make the Sawridge somewhere we want to go each Tuesday morning.  I understand why Cliff, Norm and Frasier showed up at Cheers every week.


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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