CREATIVE: Personal Essay>Customer Service

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Great Moments in Retail Customer Service, Vol. 1:

Several years ago, a handsome, well-dressed woman approached me on the salesfloor of a fancy men’s store I worked in and asked for assistance. She said, “My husband wears only solid navy suits and white shirts. Can you suggest some neckties for him that I could buy?”

I looked at the woman and said, “Of course, but may I ask you a question first?”

She smiled at me, and said, “Certainly.”

So I asked her, “What kinds of foods don’t go well with water?”

She didn’t understand for a moment, then, a blush of acknowledgment came over her face, and a small smile, and she said, “Oh, I see…”

And I replied, “Yes, I see that you do.”

She bought eleven neckties at $245 each. I never said another word to her in the entire transaction.

Moral of the story: The customer isn’t always right, but they are sometimes very polite, wealthy and intelligent.