There’s this Pizzaria in Toronto my family and I stumbled upon a few years ago after a theatre outing and we’ve been customers ever since: Bellisimo Pizza. We like Bellisimo partly because:

  1. The pizzas have a distinctive taste. To us there’s a nostalgic element as the taste is reminiscent of pizzas you get in Montreal where we were born.
  2. Bellisimo is a very casual place and the meals are moderately priced, below average.
  3. We always receive very good service, from our favourite waitress, the hard working Ylena.

Two instances of receiving special care at Bellisimo comes to mind.

Example 1:

Nearing the end of our diner, in addition to our dine-in order, my sister wanted to order a take-out pizza. Ylena informed us that she would create a separate “take-out” order. This way,  we could take advantage of the “take-out” special thus saving money. This is a prime example of a waitress minding the customer’s purse first, and the business, second. Bellisimo could easily had not made this recommendation thus slightly increasing their profit. They chose to forfeit extra profit by exercising a “What’s in it for them?” approach.  Customers first.

It reminds me of the 1994 Christmas movie Miracle on 34th Street (remake of the 1944 original).  In one scene, we see Kris Kringle as an in-store Santa Claus hired by a department store. When children and their parents can’t find the toys they want, or find them too expensive at his store, he directs them to the competition where they can find them. As a result, a customer tells the store manager “Any store that puts the parent ahead of the almighty buck at Christmas deserves my business. I’m coming here for everything but toilet paper and bananas.”

Putting the customers’ needs before the business often converts one-time customers into long-term, repeated business.

Example 2:

Cup of mint tea from McDonaldsOn a subsequent visit, at the end of our meal my wife Nicole asked for a mint tea. Ylena apologized saying the restaurant didn’t have any. Ylena then offered my wife her own large McDonalds mint tea a friend had just brought her. No extra charge either. What service! Giving something of your own to fulfill a customer request.

It just happens that we’ve always been served by Ylena. We hope all the Bellissimo servers are as attentive to their customers.

I invite you to share stories where you’ve personally experienced a business that chose to best serve you even if it meant losing a sale or some revenue. Simply comment below.

ACE Tip

Frontliners

How can you personalize the service outside of the confines of the business? Let’s be creative and think of unconventional ways of satisfying customer requests.

Employers

Are you willing to forfeit revenue for the sake of benefiting customers? Think long-term gain.

 

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