Giving the Five Star Treatment
Scott Bidwell, President/COO
A good friend recently shared a dining experience that was unlike any she's had recently. She'd been told of a new restaurant that had opened near her office that was truly worth checking out for its delicious menu and service. One afternoon, she was looking for an early lunch and thought she'd give it a try.
Upon entering, the owner greeted her warmly and escorted her to a small table near the window, pulling out her chair for her. (This, in an establishment that has
approximately 10 tables.) Though small and simply, yet tastefully decorated, the restaurant was inviting. Water and a menu were promptly presented. It was lunch, yet she was feeling more like breakfast, which they happened to serve all day. She ordered two eggs, toast and bacon with fruit, along with a latte.
While her lunch was prepared, the waiter/owner whipped up her latte and presented it. "Presented it?" I asked. "Yes," she confirmed.
The latte, with its perfect topping of steamed milk, was poured into a cup, put onto a saucer, and with both hands on the saucer, set on the table before her. She said it was absolutely delicious. Soon after, her food arrived. Again, though it was simply eggs and bacon, the plate was presented as if it held a delicacy from a five-star restaurant. She picked up her fork and knife (whose precise placement she had noticed was replicated on each table) and dug in.
Her scrambled eggs were fluffy, the bacon was that perfect combination of crunchy and chewy, but it was the fruit that grabbed her attention. No mushy melon with a few grapes; this fruit bowl included freshly sliced pineapple, kiwi, and apples. It was the fresh wedges of orange that really impressed her. "Orange wedges?" I ask. "Yes," she confirmed. The defining factor was that, with each wedge (there were 3), they had partially separated the orange peel so it could be more easily peeled away and enjoyed.
Needless to say, my friend is now a regular patron of this coffee shop....Yes, it's a coffee shop. It's not a fancy, schmancy dining establishment. The owners of this modest, 10-table coffee shop are winning customers with consistently fantastic service that exceeds many five-star establishments.
I remember a keynote speaker from a PRISM conference by the name of Robert Farrell, owner of Farrell's Ice Cream Parlors. One story he related was a Farrell's customer who, for three years, had received one extra pickle with his burger - at no additional charge. One day, the restaurant said he couldn't have one pickle but they would sell him a side of pickles for $1.25. He said he only wanted one. They then said they would sell him one for a nickel. After writing a letter indicating that, if this is how they treat their customers, he would never eat at a Farrell's again, Mr. Farrell responded to the customer (he or his managers responded to all letters), assuring him he would receive his pickle (and enclosed a coupon for a free sundae). Through this exchange, Farrell salvaged a customer relationship, which had almost been lost over a pickle. As he said in his keynote, it's important for every business to know what their "pickle" is. (By the way, Farrell's book entitled "Give 'em the Pickle" is a quick, yet excellent read on building your business.)
What keeps your customers coming back? What "pickles" can you offer that strengthen the customer relationship? Though your business may be small, your ability to provide outstanding customer service is unlimited. Are you delivering five-star service every day? It's a lesson for all of us. Those little, yet powerful, acts of customer service kindness, are what win and keep our customers.
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Tana's Tech Tip:
Permanent Retention Feature for Records
Permanent Retention is a new feature that's part of the newest release in both VCK-SQL and VCKweb.NET.
Access this important new feature on the data entry screens in both applications. A box that has been marked with Permanent Retention cannot be requested for destruction in VCKweb.NET or on a work order in VCK-SQL.
Although Permanent Retention is selected for a box, you can still give that box a Review Date, indicating that it needs to be reviewed on a certain date to decide if it should remain Permanent. All "Just Ask!" inventory reports in VCK-SQL have been updated to include a ‘P’ next to the Review Date if the box has been selected as Permanent.
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NAID Conference Made Me Want to Save the World
Jim Macmillan, VP of Sales
NAID's Annual Conference, which was also its 20th anniversary, came and went in style. The Biltmore is a fine setting, considering you’re slap bang in the middle of the desert. It’s about as good as anyone could hope for. For those of you who were able to make it, good job. For those of you unable to attend, you saved me from yet more idle banter and conversation, and for that, I thank you.
By far, the most impactful event was the keynote address, which was anything BUT idle banter. It was presented by Navy Seal, Lieutenant Commander Rorke Denver, a.k.a., Total Stud. It was a riveting and engaging hour. I found myself processing his words for the rest of the day, or at least until the first beer arrived.
My problem with listening to people who have achieved such heights that they can command a room full of people with their life story is that I leave the room feeling like a complete idiot; like, regardless of what I've been able to accomplish, I've somehow completely underachieved in life. I’m kidding...sort of. Lieutenant Denver's address left a far bigger and more positive impact on me than negative and yet still, I feel pangs of disappointment that my life has amounted to sitting here writing articles that, for the most part nobody will read, when I should be jumping out of planes and saving the world.
Since I have nothing more substantial to offer about the conference, except to say that it was, as ever, a highly enjoyable and productive few days, I'll wrap up. There's a skydiving class calling my name...
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Recognizing Two of Our Industry's Best
Congratulations to Stew Tompkins, Manager of Tippets Records Management in Toronto on his amazing 48 year career with the company.
Stew announced his retirement as of July 31, 2014. Stew has been an integral part of Tippets, and an active member of the RIM services industry and PRISM organization. Your easy smile will be missed Stew!
The ASI Team also sends its heartfelt congratulations to industry visionary Bob Haskins.
During the recent NAID Annual Conference held earlier this month, Bob received the NAID President's Award for his active support and participation within NAID and the destruction industry these many years. Bob is one of nine recipients of this prestigious award in its 20 years.
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PRISM to Convene in California
The ASI Team will be joining other PRISM members in Rancho Mirage, California on May 5th to 8th for this year's PRISM Annual Conference. We invite you to visit us in the Exhibit Hall for the latest demos and info on ASI software solutions.
Look forward to connecting and enjoying a fantastic week of networking and education!
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