May 14, 2008

Customer, Serviced #2

Posted in Life tagged , , , , at 3:08 pm by Andrew McMillen

Where?: Michelli’s Cafe, 448 Boundary Street, Spring Hill QLD 4004

When?: May 12 2008, 2pm

Who?: Male salesclerk/food handler

What?: I made the snap decision to buy lunch from this store, which is on the corner of a busy street. Though I’d passed it a few times without much interest, I decided that today was the day. I noticed that there was a pre-made egg and lettuce sandwich sitting in the window. I approached the cashier – a young girl – and made my request. She started toward the pre-packaged sandwich, before I told her that I wanted it fresh. She gave me an inkling of a disgusted expression, before ringing it up and charging me $4.50. I paid her, then stood back while she served the next person in line.

Throughout this interaction, a talkative Greek man behind the counter had been chatting to a customer as he made a kebab. Upon wishing him a great day, his attention turned to me.

“What can I get for you mate?”
“I just paid for an egg and lettuce sandwich.”
(he gives a brief glance to the inept register girl)
“An egg and lettuce sandwich, certainly mate.”

He immediately removed any negative thoughts I might have been having about the cafe’s so-far poor service by engaging me in conversation. While he expertly and swiftly prepared my sandwich, we talked about Brisbane, and I mentioned that I’d moved down from Bundaberg a few years ago. He listened, before telling me that when he was my age – I told him that I’m 20 – he moved from his small Greek town to Athens. “The big smoke!”

While spreading mayonnaise onto my wholegrain bread, he remarked that this was the “best mayonnaise in Australia mate!”. By this stage I’d assumed him to be the owner of the cafe. His humour and genuine enthusiasm resulted in a thoroughly enjoyable customer service experience. I got the impression that he treated every customer with the same respect.

As he wrapped my sandwich in paper, he told me to enjoy my day, and to try his grilled chicken burgers the next time I came back. “We’ve got Portuguese seasoning, mate, it’s to die for!”

Result: A relaxed customer who’ll happily return to try the grilled chicken burger. And aside from my poor choice of curried instead of normal mashed egg, the sandwich was great. Especially the mayonnaise.

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