Ah, the glory that is "The Half-an-hour lunch." It's enough to eat and it's enough to run a quick errand (or get in a quick gym session), but it's not enough to do both...unless you eat and drive. I suppose that depends on your level of coordination. I was in a hurry one day and needed to ship out something stat. It was time sensitive, I had a limited amount of time, and I really wanted to try and scarf down something when I got back to the office. I practically ran out my office door, flew down the stairs, crashed through the heavy double doors in the back, slid across the hood of my car, climbed through the open window, and drove off.
Okay...two of those things didn't happen, but it sounds good, right?
Anyway, I was making decent time and arrived at the precipice of my journey. The penultimate moment where I would exchange funds with a stranger to ensure that the important item I needed to ship would arrive safely the next day in the hands of a grateful recipient. I parked the car, climbed out the window...okay, opened the door, and ran at a nice pace to the front door of the post office. Something was amiss...but I couldn't quite place what was wrong. Besides the obvious (a thick, folding metallic shutter had been pulled over the windows), the door wouldn't open. I thought this was odd and longingly searched for the answer. Back and forth I looked and finally my gaze found three words that will forever be etched on my soul: Closed for Lunch.
"What!?" I was in shock. I stepped back in a reverse shuffle, reserved as if I had just tried to make the closing door of the last El train on a cold, winter Chicago night.
Now, I understand the financial reasons for closing for lunch - I do - but for the average Joe - this is exactly when we have time to run an errand like this. The Post Office wasn't there for me when I needed them: at a time that was convenient to the consumer.
So here's the question: Where else does this happen for us? Where do we drop the ball for our clients, our spouses, our children, and everyone in between? The key to service isn't the "Ice" at the end. It's the "Serve" at the beginning. We should endeavor not to leave people feeling an icy chill when they leave our presence. They should feel served.
How can you serve better?