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Last weekend we took Victoria, our 2-year-old granddaughter, for pizza at Via Tribunali in Seattle (Fremont location). Not your typical place to take a little one but we went because it is great traditional Italian pizza and happy hour prices.

The waiter/bartender was one of those employees every employer wishes they could have. He was enthusiastic, helpful and made a big deal over Victoria including making her a fresh, hand-made glass of lemonade. And then fussing over her to make sure she liked it (she did), it wasn’t too tart (it was just sweet enough) and that she was having a good time (she was).

I’m normally a generous tipper. In this case I was super generous as the service far exceeded normal expectations. Now, that’s great for the person receiving the tip, but what does it mean for the restaurant?

Well, in this case it means we’ll be back and we’ve already told a few people about our experience – a couple of them who had not heard of this restaurant and want to go. Experiences like this always get me thinking what I could do in my business, what my clients can do and what every business owner can do to encourage behavior like that we received from our waiter. It’s a small price to pay to motivate employees to treat customers like they really matter.

Too many businesses, and under managed employees, fail to do so. That little extra really pays off. For example, in contrast to the above example, I recently called a doctor’s office. I (slowly) said my name and received back a rather harsh, “John who?” It was obvious the receptionist wasn’t paying too much attention to me. Many calls to businesses lead to revenue for the business. You would think they would treat every call as a valued customer.

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