I darted into a restaurant for a quick late lunch this week when I observed something that gave my spirits a boost.  A training class was being conducted for those who interact with the businesses customers, the waiters and waitresses. Each wine the restaurant offers by the glass was lined up, and the servers were provided with a small sample to better understand what they were representing to customers. The waiters and waitresses were provided with an overview of each wine, and later quizzed in regard to potential food pairings and how to best handle customer questions and requests for recommendation. The restaurant had earned my respect and future business before they even took my order.

In our highly commoditized world I often decide to support restaurants or retailers with my repeat business based on the quality of service I experience. Sadly, time and experience have conditioned me to have low expectations. I usually find myself handing hard earned money over to drone like representatives, the face of business, who have little interest in my satisfaction or future patronage. The drones aren’t responsible for the callous divide created, the owners and managers of the business are.

The business model I’ve experienced of late has little concern for the value in long term customer loyalty. The trappings of the digital era may be to blame for what feels like one transactional experience followed by another. Have you ever made what you considered to be a purchase of something worthy of note only to have a cashier process your order, hand you a receipt, and turn away without as much as a “thank you” or request to “please come again”.

I reward businesses that add value in the form of knowledgeable customer service with my loyalty and repeat business.