Most of us have experienced the “Customer Service Scowl” and know exactly how it feels when we, as customers, are not appreciated.  On the other side of the counter, empowering employees to deal with “Customers Scowling” is even trickier. checkout

 On a recent trip to the discount store, I unknowingly selected the checkout line with a scowling customer ahead of me.  She needed three price checks, two credit cards and one cell phone to complete her transaction.  I knew it wasn’t the clerk’s problem as she efficiently did her part.

When my turn arrived I chuckled and said “She was kind of high maintenance”.  The clerk, still flustered, nodded and said “Sorry for your wait”. We exchanged some pleasantries and when she handed me my sales receipt, she pointed to the bottom and said “I gave you a 10% discount for your patience.”  I thanked her and expressed surprise. 

Now, that 10% was only $2.50 yet that young clerk had been empowered to please customers.  The unexpected positive action on her part made me feel valued reaffirming that actions DO speak louder than words.