Random Conversations

Still Feeling Valued

Still Feeling Valued

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Two Years and Counting

A year after writing about my extraordinary customer experience at my neighborhood Starbucks (It’s So Nice to be Remembered!), I still feel valued each time I visit.

Recently, greetings were shared with those I knew as I placed my order. As I waited, someone who used to work there came in. She had been transferred to a different location and stopped by to see her former colleagues.

Upon seeing me, she happily proclaimed, "Cathy you're still here!" A year had passed since we last saw each other and she still remembered me. I could not have been more surprised. We then briefly chatted, each with the biggest of smiles.

The warmth of being remembered and feeling valued continues to settle deep into my soul.

What Makes People Memorable?

It’s easy to recognize people you regularly see behind the counter, but what makes them remember you? Those interactions can be positive or negative, and both are memorable in their own way. Here, I want to focus on the positive ones – the ones in which all involved emerge feeling valued.

When I lived in Los Angeles, a lifetime ago, I was a cocktail waitress at two hotels over three years. I definitely had my favorite customers. Whether they were regulars or someone who came in for a single visit, they were the ones who I got to know a bit.

We’d chat, we’d laugh, and we were respectful. Seeing each other made us happy, knowing that this would be a pleasurable interaction.

They helped make my job more enjoyable and I appreciated that. I did all I could to make them feel welcome – as I did with all my customers. If there was an issue, they politely told me, and it was quickly resolved.

We were intentionally honoring of each other – and that, I believe, is key to creating value.

Moving Forward

I carry forward the spirit of the interactions that delighted me so many years ago. As I had felt valued then, I hope that those working in my Starbucks now know that I value them and the experience they create for me.

I am not going to say that every customer interaction can be a positive one. Life happens – people can have bad days or go through a very difficult stretch of time. Still, we can offer each other a respectful encounter.

When the experience is a positive one that grows and gets stronger over time, that is the feeling of home. And in a largely impersonal corporate environment, that is something to celebrate!

Photo by tabitha turner on Unsplash

Cathy Joseph is the author of the Random Conversations blog and is currently seeking representation for her book, The Art of Having a Delicious Conversation.

© 2022 Cathy Joseph. All rights reserved.

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