For the past 10 years or so I’ve shopped at my favorite butcher shop whenever I wanted something special like a Prime Rib roast. I’ve never been disappointed in the quality. The service is always very good, even when the store is packed before the holidays.
About seven months ago, an upstart from another town built a butcher shop about a mile from my house. But being closer wasn’t a good enough reason to switch. In fact, I was so loyal to my butcher I resisted setting foot in the new store until about 3 months ago. Today I have a new butcher. The upstart won my business for one seemingly insignificant reason. They called me by name.
Ringing up my first purchase with my debit card, the cashier turned around and said, “Is there anything else you’d like Mr. Koschnitzke?” Being acknowledged by name on my first visit was totally unexpected and delightful. No big deal in the grand scheme of things. She just read my name off the card. I was hooked.
In the name of research I called for take out Fish Fry the following Friday. “Is there anything else Walt?” Two weeks later I stopped in for a Rack Of Lamb. Once again they called me by name. I don’t remember if the people at the other butcher shop ever called me by name. If they did, it wasn’t often enough to make an impression.
I believe Dale Carnegie taught that a person's name is the sweetest sound they know. The new butcher shop has set the standard in my mind for all butcher shops. If they stop calling me by name I’ll be disappointed so I hope they keep it up.
What are the little things you do to delight and surprise customers? Sometimes it only takes a puff of wind to convert someone else’s good customer to one of yours.