SORRY TO SEE YOU GO
Friday, January 14, 2022
I was visiting a business this week, a store selling merchandise and providing a franchise service; once a year, they charge me, and all year their service is provided. There is little interaction through the year; sometimes, when I needed to chat with them about a problem or drop something off — always polite and cordial, but not overly so — one could safely describe it as off-hand. As if their customers are inconveniencing them.
Odd, because those customers are paying their costs, salaries and profit …
It was a short exchange. Interrogation of sorts; I had only one key so far as I know. I was reminded that records show I was given two keys. I probably was, but I have no recollection — it was 21 years ago. I’ve moved several times and doubt if I scoured every drawer in my home or office, I would not locate that second key.
I got a scowl in return, followed by a hrumpf.
Then, for the first time in 21 years, a warm smile and a soft voice said, “We’re sorry to see you go.”
I gave up a post-office box I’ve been using a long time, but I don’t need it any longer. Each year recently, I’ve debated renewing. After this exchange, I went away thinking if they’d been that nice all along, I probably would have continued with them even though it is inconvenient.
Yes, it’s a Canada Post franchise inside a retail card shop; the mom and pop who’ve sold me stamps and rented me a box all these years, and only when I’m leaving to probably never walk through their doors again, I get friendly treatment — they are sorry to see me go — a text-book example, not of why businesses fail, but of how they have the tools to do so much better if they’d pay more attention to the tiny things that impact how people make choices, and appreciate them before they go rather than after they go.
Some recent talks: Mark Speaks