How many times have you heard that establishing a business is all about “location, location, location”?
Sure, it helps. If you are conveniently located, people are more likely to patronize your business. That’s just common sense.
But I’m not so sure “location, location, location” is what it’s all about. I think it should be “service, service, service.”
I went to Sonic on Thomas Road this morning to get breakfast. The girl who was taking my order was rude and acted like it was a hassle that I needed her attention. I told her she could keep her food and that I wouldn’t be back.
I backtracked all the way to Sonic on Cypress Street near Well Road, and the young lady who took my order was very courteous. However, when I got to the window, she handed me a sweet tea when I had ordered a half sweet, half unsweet tea. Also, she had entered the total incorrectly and couldn’t figure out how to change it once it had processed. She asked if she could charge my card for the incorrect amount and refund the difference in cash.
Clearly, she was flustered and trying to find her way through this transaction. Had this been the rude person with whom I interacted at the Thomas Road location, I would’ve demanded to speak to the manager so I could make sure she knew exactly what level of incompetence she was promoting.
But it wasn’t that rude person, so I didn’t say anything about the situation other than to tell her, “It’s no problem!”
Why? Service. Service. Service.
Through the whole transaction, she was clearly upset that she couldn’t get it right but never failed to say she would fix it (which she promptly did) and apologize for the delay. Her tone was polite, and she greeted me with a smile. Her appearance was neat and professional. She was friendly. I liked her.
Bottom line = service wins over location every time.
It was much more convenient for me to go to the Thomas Road Sonic, but (considering this is not the first time I have been treated rudely at that location), I won’t be back there. I will take the extra time to take my business to the Cypress Street location simply because of their positive attitude and attention to their customers. The mistakes she was making weren’t that critical, but if she had been as rude as the person I encountered on Thomas Road, it would’ve seemed much worse to me as the customer.
You can be located in the best spot in town, but if you can’t back it up with positive interactions and attention to service, you have nothing. If only more businesses, hospitals, churches and people in relationships realized this, the world might be a more successful, pleasant place.