I Notice = I Care
Now we're gonna jump into something I call, I Notice Equals I Care, which I just simplify and say I Notice, I Care, I Notice and I Care, I'll tell you about that in a second. What I've realized through years and years of working in the restaurant business is that it's really hard to care for strangers and I've had managers, when I was young and come up to me and say, "You've gotta care for your customers," I'd like to care for my customers, but my customers are strangers and it's hard to care for strangers and that's really the basic of it, so it's hard to care for people you've never met before, so what I realized is that if we, as owners and operators, want to make sure that our clients and customers feel cared for, we've gotta go about it a different way, I can't just make people care, it doesn't work that way, so I've got to find another way, so what I came up with was this equation, I Notice Equals I Care, so what it is is when you notice a client's unique situation and then you a...
ct on what you observe, she will feel cared for, because you acted on her behalf, so if I notice that somebody's coming to my business and they're struggling and I go and open the door, right, I'm noticing that they're having trouble, and I'm opening the door and in the end, they're gonna be like, "Oh my God, I was struggling and you helped me, "that feels great, I'm gonna walk in the door," right, if I noticed that you were sitting down and your jacket fell on the floor and I go and pick up your jacket and put it on the back of the seat, you would be like, "How nice they are," right, they're gonna feel cared for, I don't have to care, I just have to notice, right, now of course, of course I want my employees to care, I want them to care about their clients and their customers, but this noticing is actually a very cool tool for people to use and I have people use it all the time, notice what you see, act on what you see and your client will feel cared for, this is also something great for when you are a manager, as a manager, you have to talk to people, as a manager, you have to talk to people, when things aren't going well, it can be very, very hard, but this is a great way to go and talk to strangers and interact with them, 'cause sometimes it is hard to say, hey, how's it going? Right, I might be interrupting, I'm not really sure, but what if somebody's looking for a shopping cart and you come up with a shopping cart, what if somebody is you know, looking around and you're not really sure what they, hey, may I help you, what can I help you find? Right, so noticing can be a wonderful tool in the customer service experience and the best way to illuminate this is, they didn't notice, so I didn't feel cared for and this is something that I feel that people feel a lot, when you're not noticed, when your situation is not taken, when no one's taking notice of it, you really don't feel cared for. Does anybody here have an experience of, "They didn't even notice, "they didn't notice," anybody, yeah?
Every time we go shopping, (laughs)
you're looking for something and, or you're waiting for somebody to wait on you and they're just totally oblivious to you.
That's right, that's right and that makes you feel...
That's right, yeah, don't they notice? I'm here to spend money, right?
Yeah, like if I'm in a store and I'm trying on clothing, I've got an armful of clothing and you just need a you know, a place to go try it on, I wanna try this stuff on, 'cause I wanna take it home with me, right, when no one notices that you know, I need a place to try this on, it's such a simple thing, yeah. Do you have any examples of that? Could be the flip side too, when people have noticed you and you feel cared for.
Yeah, I think that it's a great example, when somebody, when you're at a store and somebody's like, "Hey, I'm gonna set up a dressing room for you, "'cause you clearly are ready for that,"
and just kind of like, knowing what you need and anticipating that, I think is a huge... is just something small, but...
And it might also be they give you an alternative to what you're already looking at.
Well, that's right, that's right, so that would be asking questions and ensuring that you've found everything that you need and that's what I've noticed a lot with some of the bigger brand name stores is now they will ask you, "Have you found anything," or, "Oh, did you know this was on sale?" or they do that sort of what we call suggestive selling, which is about selling, but it's also about your needs, right,
it's about initially you have everything that you need, you know, "Oh, did you want a belt to go with those pants, "'cause that would look great?" you know, those little ways of attending to you and taking care of you feels really good and as we always wanna make sure again, we wanna make sure that we're giving these customers and clients an experience, so they feel happy, they feel better, that's something in the restaurant world, we always say, that guests don't come for food, they don't come for beverages, they come to feel better and that's abundantly true and I think it's true of any business, they don't just come to buy, I didn't go to the store to buy shoes, I bought, to look good, I went there to feel like, oh, I'm gonna look fabulous when I'm at that event or whatever it is, or I'm gonna feel comfortable, when I'm hiking up Kilimanjaro, right, I wanna feel better, so we've always gotta think about that, because we have the ability to make people feel good and to notice their situation and they're gonna feel like we cared for them. Service is not a soliloquy, a lecture or a monologue, it is a conversation and back to what you notice, that's a great way again to start a conversation, I noticed you're looking around, is there anything I can help you with? Right, there's a story that I recount in my book and I'll never forget it, 'cause it was kind of hilarious actually, but it's I walked into a Staples store one night, this was a few years ago, I might add, walked into a Staples store behind two women, they walk in before me and as soon as we walk in the door, there's a gentleman there, "Hello, welcome to Staples," and they were like, you know, "Whoa, alright," so we walk in, I'm still behind them, somebody's up there, "Hey, welcome to Staples," "Whoa, okay," and the women were just a little like, "Whoa, okay, I get it, welcome to Staples," then we go round the corner, they break off from me, I go up the stairs, "Welcome to Staples, "can I help you find anything?" and I was like, "No," but I was sort of like, where am I? I did not expect this at Staples, 'cause they were just really friendly, they weren't pushy, then I walked around the corner, I brought some stuff, "Hey, do you need help with that?" No, "Do you know where the checkout is?" Hm, not so sure, "Let me show you," they took me down the stairs and showed me where the checkout was, okay, so I paid for my stuff, again, "Welcome to Staples," and I'm like, they're all so friendly in here, but at the same time it didn't quite compute, 'cause I didn't think of office supplies and friendly environment as really being in the same place, they were just friendly, so then I checked out and as I walked down sort of the queue, you walk passed the other cashiers, someone at, the very last cashier was like, "Goodnight!" I was like, dang, where am I? This place is so friendly and nice, but they noticed me at each step of my journey in the store and that's really what it comes down to, being noticed. Now, some people, like the ladies in front of me, will be a little put off, like, "I get it, I get it, "you're here, come on, I'm just gonna buy a pen," or whatever it is, right, but some other people were like, "Well, that's nice, "well, that's nice, that's awfully nice," right, and I think to err on the side of nice is not a bad thing. Yeah?
I think Ace Hardware's a really good example,
of like consistently, whatever Ace Hardware you ever walk into, somebody's there to help you, there's somebody in the aisle ready to help you figure out that screw
or help you work on that project and for somebody who's not necessarily... like knows what screw or,
or is like super handy, like it's so great and you can see the opposite experience in these bigger box stores, where you're just lost in this land
and so, I mean, I choose Ace every time,
because of that, knowing that I'm gonna get that support.
That's right, I love the word that you just used, support, right, 'cause you're making a decision and that's what customer service allows us, it allows us to help our customers make a decision for themselves, 'cause you're right, I mean, like, it's a dry wall screw, it's a concrete screw, it's a this screw, it's a that, so I don't know, right, so when somebody can artfully help you do that, it's a wonderful thing and just 'cause you're standing there looking at the wall, "I don't know," right, I notice this guy needs some help, let me help him out and then bingo, you go back every time, that's the beauty, we love to notice things.