President’s Message

Customer Service – “Your happiness is more important than our rules”

Customer service is one of those terms that gets bandied about like a tennis ball at Wimbledon. Everyone has an opinion on what is good customer service and, more importantly, what is bad customer service. I recently witnessed, what I believe, was an amazing act of customer service.

My wife and I were relaxing at the bar of a popular North Coast Inn and restaurant. We were sitting next to a gentleman staying at the Inn from out of state. He was here on business with his wife who was resting back in their room. He had ordered dinner for he and his wife and, after a couple of glasses of Merlot, he was heading back to his room to eat his meal and relax after a long day.

The bartender approached with his meal, which was plated and covered to go. He looked down at his glasses of wine and the tray of food and hesitated a moment. The bartender immediately said, “Let me follow you to your room and you handle the wine.” He casually declined and said that he didn’t want her breaking any rules for him, leaving the bar unattended and he could handle it.

What she replied to the gentleman has stuck with me, “Your happiness is more important than our rules, let’s go”.  I remember looking over at him and witnessing a look of complete astonishment. “I will never forget this place, I have never had anyone say that to me”, he stated. Well needless to say, he said goodnight to us and hurried out the door after his dinner.

Customer service is the act of creating a positive memorable experience with your customer. Whether you are a business owner, a manager or an employee, your ultimate goal is to satisfy your customer. The experience described above was positive and some might say over and above, but the goal, to satisfy the customer was met.

People love to talk, gossip and now, write reviews. A positive experience will be passed on to friends, family and members of their Facebook group. A negative experience will more than likely go viral faster than a cat on a mouse. Being remembered fondly is far more important than the sale itself, as you will be rewarded 10-fold.

There is an old saying in business that nothing happens until someone makes a sale. In the case of customer service, you are selling yourself. Once the customer buys into the experience you are providing, you will have a customer for life.

Joe Casteel

2018 President, Lake County Chamber of Commerce
Owner, North Bay Merchant Services

Joe Casteel is a 20 year veteran of the Electronic Payment industry and moved his business to Lake County in 2006. A proud member of the Lake County Chamber of Commerce and current President, Joe and his wife Jacie have called Lake County their home since 2001.