I’m running about a month late on blog entries, and I’m a little sorry, because I really did need to do a huge shout out to the people of Tampa Florida. When I am king of the world, I’m going to make everyone in a customer-facing job go to Florida for a month and take notes. If there is an epicentre of customer service in this world, Itruly believe Tampa may be it.
“Oh, sure, but it’s a tourist place – all tourist places have good service,” the cynics out there will cry. But that would be grossly unfair to the people who live in this city. During the week I was there, I found amazing customer service in the most unlikely of places.
I was in Tampa/St. Peteonbusinessfor a week at the end of January, and had nothing but outstanding experiences. It began with a visit to the grocery store Publix. I walked from the Hilton to pick up some fruit and other things to keep in my room for snacks. As I wandered around the produce section, someone actually said hello to me and asked if she could help. I almost fainted. This is a completely foreign concept in most of the world’s grocery stores.
I went to their pharmacy section to ask the pharmacist about a prescription I had left back in Canada. She went out of her way to help me out, and eventually recommended I go to a Walgreen’s walk-in clinic to arrange for a new prescription. She even took the time to call them to confirm their hours. At the checkout, instead of the non-committal grunt that we’ve all grown to expect, I found this happy, cheerful and talkative cashier. What up with that?
I was seriously starting to wonder if I had somehow magically turned into a rock star.
Once at Walgreens, the nurse-practitioner who looked after memight have beenthe most thorough and helpful person I’ve ever met in the medical field.
I went into a Walmart – with a greeter that actually greeted. I must have been approached by four very pleasant employees. The restaurants and hotel experience was exemplary. I counted at least 30 great experiences in a little over a week.I even had an amazing experience with the TSA people at the airport.
Now, I’m guessing that the state of Florida hasn’t simply put all of their residents through customer service training. This is cultural – what used to be referred to as ‘Southern Hospitality.’ It’s a pride in their jobs, and a genuine belief that people should be treated with respect and friendship.
It’s an attitude that all people in customer service sho