By Cait Collins
I have worked in customer services industries most of my career. I believe in the concept of providing the very best service to clients. That’s why I appreciate businesses that focus on the customer. It’s the reason I enjoy shopping at Barnes and Noble. Every time I’m in the store, at least one bookseller approaches me and offers assistance. Not one associate is too busy to stop stocking shelves to help me find special titles. And if the book is not in stock, it will be ordered. Even during busy seasons when the store is packed, I’m still treated as if I’m the only customer in the store.
This type of service is, in part, due to excellent training. But I believe success is due to hiring people who love books. Their associates want to pass on their passion for reading. Enthusiasm breeds enthusiasm. And it shows when the customer purchases more than just one book. In fact, I often have to step back and edit my selections because my simple request results in multiple returns. Instead of one book or magazine dedicated to my subject, I have five or six publications.
Recently, I witnessed a member of the B&N management team work with a young man who wanted to know more about a well-known Western figure. There wasn’t much available, but the manager kept pulling books and checking indexes and tables of content for any references to the character. That’s service and that is why I keep going back. I like being made to feel important.
While I appreciate being provided good service when I patronize a business, I also enjoy authors who consistently provide a good read. I look forward to their next book and often pre-order to ensure I don’t miss out on a few hours of escape. These authors inspire me to do my very best so that one day, I will be in their company. After all, a good story is good customer service.