We all move through the world as a customer of some kind. From ordering a coffee at the corner store to spending two hours on the phone with your internet provider (talk about fun!) every one of us are customers, clients, consumers of products. Many of us are also customer service providers — even the most technical of jobs can require some level of customer service, even when it’s not the central focus of your position. This time of year, retailers and makers are busier than ever fulfilling all the holiday wishes of all the consumers.
Whether you are a provider of customer service or a receiver of it, it is highly likely that you have been both the beneficiary of good customer service, and the victim of bad customer service. We all have those stories! The embarrassing moment when the barista corrects your pronunciation of macchiato, contrasted with that magical time the bookseller recommended a book to you that became your all time most favorite book to be read a million times (shout out to Word After Word Books, where you are guaranteed to find a favorite!).
This is the power of customer service, and good customer service in a small town makes a world of difference to locals and visitors alike. In Truckee/Tahoe, my favorite shops know my name. I see ten people I know each time I venture to happy hour. I can’t make it out of the grocery store in under ten minutes ever, even if I am just buying peanut butter, because I get sidetracked by fun conversations & friendly faces. These experiences make me excited to shop local and support our community when I start my holiday gifting.
The shops we all frequent (hopefully local retailers) this December are likely very busy and likely a little tired. Customers might be frazzled by their long to-do lists. This holiday season, let’s all stay positive, speak kindly, and respect each other. After all, a happy customer makes a happy local business owner, and that makes a happy holiday.