"I'll move a stool over for you," said Kelly of Eva Bryn Shoetique. While I didn't understand at the time why she said it, later it made so much sense and I was so surprised her thoughtfulness.
Let me back up. I have no fashion sense. Well, fashionable fashion sense. It has always been a struggle to figure out what I feel comfortable in and still look like I didn't just put on the pair of jeans that I wore yesterday. One morning I put on my new blackish, grayish cardigan and immediately had a shoe emergency. (I really don't like shoes... don't get them... can't find ones to love... just have issues.) There wasn't too much time to have this emergency because I had to get to my sons book fair at school. Kelly was there in these really cool black shoes. SHE looked great. Certainly she did not put on the same jeans she had on yesterday! I tried hard not to ask her to take her shoes off right there so I could try them on and instead wait until later that afternoon to call the store.
"Kelly!" I said. "Do you have those black shoes you were wearing this morning in stock?" She said yes, asked my size and went in the back to pull them. "I'll be right over," I said. Then she said, "Great, I'll move a stool over for you."
Don't quite get it yet? Perhaps I haven't explained that her store is right across the street from mine. I can see who is coming and going into Penn Pantry from her window if I stand in a certain spot. What Kelly said to me was that she knows what spot I stand in, that trying on shoes is easier sitting down, and that she was moving a stool to that certain spot so I could sit and try on shoes while watching my store.
Whoa! That's greater than simply greeting people when they walk into a store. That's better than being nice. Kelly thought about the customer, anticipated the need, and worked to fix it. That's small business at it's best! It doesn't treat people like numbers, it's more than simply being nice, it can be greater than just a transaction. It's thinking that each person is not simply a customer but a person.
This Saturday has been named Small Business Saturday. Please go visit your favorite people and stores! It means the world to us that you appreciate what we do. Our efforts to treat everyone like a real person, to honor you, and be part of your community.
Thank you Kelly, for treating me not just like a customer but as a VIP.