By Moses Ade-Ojo
During a conversation with a friend, he shared a story with me about going the extra mile for one’s customers. It’s about how far offering excellent Customer Service can get you. Some people may describe going an extra length for others when the payback is little or non- existent as an act of stupidity. This assumption is not always right. The interview below as shared by my friend clearly explains an instance of excellent customer service.
Question: What is the best tip you have ever received as an employee?
Answer: The biggest tip I ever got was $55,007 and more from one customer. Yes, fifty five thousand and seven (US) dollars and more from one customer.
Here is what happened:
In March, I was working as a hairstylist in California. It was a busy Saturday and at 5:55 pm (5 minutes before closing), this man walked in.
I told him that we already closed (shame on me). He said that he had to fly out of state for work in a few hours, and he needed his hair done (his hair was a mess), and our shop was the only place opened still. My co-workers gave me the laser eyes beam from the back; they all wanted to go home. I said (with a smile/smirk): “I will do it”, then I asked my co-workers to go home and told them I would close the shop by myself later. After the greeting and figuring out what he wanted for his hair; I started working my magic. Then, he started to fall asleep on my chair. So I told him: “If you fall asleep on my chair, you will be wowed when you wake up (sarcastic)”
Him : Sorry about that.
Me: I hope you get paid enough to work that hard (he looked like a half dead owl).
Him: Oh, it is just a crazy time at work right now. The company is laying off a lot of people.
Me: I hope you don’t work in finance; they are cutting back like crazy.
He stared at me and said: “I do work in finance, and yes, the industry is cutting back.”
Me: Yeah!!! I graduated with a finance degree a couple of months ago but can’t find a job yet. Everywhere I go there is a temporary hiring freeze.
Then we talked about economy, finance, while I was doing his hair. Then, he asked me, “What is your experience doing finance work?”
Me: I am a CFA level 2 candidate now, sitting for the June exam. Real experience wise, I don’t have much. While I was in school, I was a professor’s assistant, so I taught finance classes for my professors when they decided to be lazy. Does that count?
Him: CFA level 2? How?
Me: I passed the level 1 exam in December while I was in school and I am doing level 2 now.
Him: While working fulltime the entire time?
Him: How is your Excel?
Me: Not a master Jedi yet but comfortable enough to learn what I don’t know pretty fast.
Him: Do you know anything about Performance Analysts?
Me: Umhmmm, yeah. Let’s say, here is the philosophy: “We need to know where we have been, in order to figure out where we will go.” The performance analyst takes care of the first part of that philosophy.
Then, we talked a bit more about my school and things going on in the economy. Then, he gave me a $7 tip for his hair service.
After that, l locked the door and started to close the register. He came back and knocked the door. I thought: “Shit my life! A re-do? Did I make a boo boo on his hair?”
I opened the door and he gave me his business card then said: “You are hired! Send me your resume”.
That customer was a VP at one of the three largest banks (by AUM) in the world (he is also Quora Top Writer) I sent him my resume, then I was contacted by HR for a job interview.
I called him to thank him for the opportunity. He told me that he was impressed by my hard work, and he decided to “interview” me while I was doing his hair (I did not even pay attention).
I got the job offer one week after the interview. The salary is $55,000, which is very high for my area (I do not live in the bay area).
That is what excellent Customer Service can fetch you. Don’t bother to do the calculations about where and how you will be rewarded, just keep offering the best. Always go the extra mile and you will be rewarded someday.