A Lesson in Service From a Detroit Airport Waitress

While waiting in the Detroit airport, I popped into Max & Erma’s for lunch. Grace was serving about six or seven other tables. And she was everything you’d expect a good waitress to be – prompt, friendly, efficient. She had a drink on my table in three minutes. She took my order in five. And my order – which had a few “tweaks” that deviated from the description on the menu – was exactly right and on my table in 10.

But she also did something that I believe all businesses should try for. She anticipated the needs of her customers, and met them as quickly and efficiently as possible.

That meant she refilled my drink before I’d taken the last sip of my first one. She asked the man sitting behind me if he wanted mustard the second she put down his burger. And – because everyone eating there had a flight to catch – as soon as she made sure we had everything we needed, she placed the bill on the table, and was ready to take it as soon as we had to leave.

These may sound like small things. And they were. But they made me feel comfortable. I wasn’t worried about missing my flight. I got exactly what I wanted to eat. And though she was quick, I didn’t feel the least bit rushed. The main thing is, I didn’t have to ask for any of it.

“Spending time and energy on your customers. That’s what good customer service is,” says Michael Masterson.

Just anticipate what your customers want, and deliver. This might take some out-of-the-box thinking on your part. And it means going beyond offering what your customers would expect. But if you take the time to do it, you’ll find yourself with loyal customers who will trumpet your praises to the world.