Positive Featured Inspirational Story - February 2005
I live in an area where there a number of what can be described as the traditional family run corner stores. From my perspective, the success and viability of the corner store business is totally dependent on good product, good service and convenience combined with great people working behind and in front of the counter. In recent years there has been a resurgence in the corner store business, mainly because many of us are now extremely time poor and need convenience when we shop. Enough of the background, now to my story.
Within walking distance of my home is a unique corner store business. It is owned and run by a local family and it offers a variety of general groceries and convenience items, plus some really great 'cooked on the premises' food that you can take home, heat up and eat plus a sensational selection of really good quality fruit and vegetables.
For the last three years I have been a regular customer and mainly for one product - fresh red apples, which I have then given away at the conclusion of training and workshop programs I have conducted on delivering exceptional customer service. Over that time, I estimate that I have purchased in excess of 1500 apples from this corner store because they always have fresh, crunchy, quality red apples with no bruises and dints in them. I am sure you would not be surprised when I tell you that in all that time, I have not had a bad apple.
What has always amazed me about this business is that often just as I am about to leave, the father who the business is named after, presents me with a fresh piece of fruit, such as a nectarine. Just before this happens, I usually see him out of the corner of my eye go over to the fruit section - pick out a piece of fruit, give it the once over and an affectionate polish on his apron, then with a big smile on his face - he offers it to me with his compliments. Now call this what you wish, I see this gesture as a simple expression of appreciation for my business and that he wants to make his customers feel good. The pay off is that I keep coming back to shop not just for the great apples and the free piece of fresh fruit, but because he makes me feel extra special and appreciated.
Nick's Quality Fruit Supply in Narraweena is owned and run by Nick (the father), Maggie (his daughter) and the other members of the family. They always smile, acknowledge and talk to their customers in a warm and friendly manner and as you would expect they know most of their customers by their first name, including me.
I am sure that Nick, Maggie and all the family also know instinctively that if you treat your customers with genuine courtesy and respect, do the little things very well, appreciate them, offer them the best quality product and are always pleased to be of service - you will create a very successful business and they have.
So what is the message behind this story - when you have your business running with all the right ingredients in place and working well, you have time to do the extra little things that make your customers feel special and talk about you!
Put simply, when we get it all going right, then we can deliver the nectarines in our business
Written by Keith Ready - Inspired by Maggie and her family
Since writing this story in 2005, Maggie and her family have retired and the business is no longer trading, however, they will be well remembered by the local community as very special people and great retailers.