Seven Behaviors to Keep Customers Happy

This summer Podunk, Inc. turned 13. That’s a lucky number, for us, and as reports come from all over New York City of businesses like ours taking down the shingle, we feel like it’s time to come clean about some time-honored axioms in the realm of customer service. My late husband used to have these sayings, which we thought were corny, until we realized he was right. They are now part of the Podunk handbook, and part of employee core training.

  1. Everybody who comes in is somebody. We just don’t know it yet. Greet every new person like an old friend, and old friends as family.
  2. If that person is NOT somebody, he or she knows somebody, who has set their expectations for Podunk very high. We need to meet or surpass those expectations.
  3. Deliver a glass of water with the same grace as if it were our most expensive entree.
  4. Give customers permission to ask questions about the menu. Embed into any welcome the notion that we need to know how to make them happy.
  5. You don’t set money on fire, and you don’t trash your own home. Why wouldn’t you treat your number one asset, customers, with kid gloves?
  6. Don’t be the first one to break eye contact. People have a primal craving to be listened to, especially in the age of phone screens and laptops.
  7. Everybody is somebody who is going to mention you to another somebody. The returns on a little time is palpable—so why not make a lasting impression?