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  • Writer's pictureKelly E. Middleton

Unexpected Customer Service Is Powerful

I have been writing and speaking about customer service for over 30 years and I still get excited when I see someone passionate about delivering stellar service. One particular experience at my local Kroger's supermarket left a lasting impression on me. I was walking toward the self checkout line to quickly finish my shopping trip. I remember a day when there were no self checkout lines (pre 1990s) and baggers carried your groceries to your car.

All of a sudden, I heard a checker yell out for me to bring my groceries to his line. Everyone has experienced a supermarket checker opening up a new line when the lines are long, but this time was different. I was not even looking for a live checker when this excited gentleman got my attention. He was waving his arms and had excitement in his voice. I yelled back I was heading to self-checkout and he said "I am much easier and faster." I said to myself, Why not?

As I approached him with my groceries, he announced his name was Felix and that he would be taking care of me. I was now very intrigued with this guy who then announced the name of the lady who would be bagging my groceries. This experience was very similar to Pat Sajak introducing Vanna White on Wheel of Fortune. He stood out with his vibrant personality and genuine enthusiasm to assist customers. Felix had me laughing the way he added so much flair to his job. We were having such a good time as I began thinking about Felix and how his actions fit into my customer service books. After I had paid, Felix made a huge announcement about all the fuel points I had just accumulated with my purchase. The fuel points give you a small discount on your next gas purchase, but to hear Felix make the announcement, one would think I had just won the lottery! His positive energy and dedication to his job were truly remarkable. I left Kroger's feeling inspired and grateful for the opportunity to witness such outstanding service in action.

Felix's attention to detail and positive attitude reminded me of the importance of hiring based on attitude rather than just skills, as Felix's natural talent for customer service shone through in every interaction. I made a conscious effort to seek out Felix on subsequent visits to Kroger's, and I was delighted to find that his exceptional service was consistent and unwavering. His ability to engage customers, anticipate their needs, and go above and beyond to ensure their satisfaction was truly commendable. I had the opportunity to speak with Kroger management about Felix and was pleased to learn that he is a beloved and respected member of the team. He is a true customer service champion, and I will continue to support Kroger's because of him. His commitment to excellence and customer satisfaction is a testament to the impact exceptional service can have on a business and its customers.

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