Alchemize with Lauren

Making Mental Notes

As you walk up to the hostess stand, you’re greeted not only with a “Good evening”, but with your name. Shortly after you are seated, the busboy pours your water and remembers that not only do you enjoy a lot of ice in your beverage, he also automatically retrieves a straw from his apron pocket. The waiter stops by your table and reads you the list of specials for the evening, recalling that the fish is prepared exactly as you liked it the last time you were there! And you’re not dreaming!

Your dining companions knew you were “a regular”, but now they are really impressed! You go there relatively often, probably about once a month, certainly not daily or weekly – but you’re treated like you own the place. They remember everything. There’s “service” and then there’s SERVICE! Making mental notes of a customers likes, dislikes, birthdays and anniversaries is a small way to win big points.

In those situations where all things are relatively “equal”, aren’t you more likely to base your decisions on where to go, where to eat, and what to purchase based on service? The experience is more satisfying, the task becomes less tedious and anxiety is virtually eliminated. You look forward to the meal, errand or transaction and walk away with a smile. That’s what service is all about.

It doesn’t matter what role you are in, or what position you hold within the company, at some time or another you are in the position of having to provide a service in some capacity. Whether it’s as simple as answering a question on the phone, or as complex as hosting a major event, someone’s decision to do business with you or your company boils down to service. Even if you weren’t “voted” number one in town – No matter what business you’re in – whether it’s pizza, dentistry, food market, landscaping, restaurant, merchant, designer, bank or any other industry – repeat business and referrals come down to the details and one of those details – a major detail is service.

Somehow, cost can become less important and even quality can become irrelevant. You don’t mind paying a little more if the service is exceptional. And you realize how often you are surprised when a place is less expensive and yet they still have good service. It’s worth going to an establishment because you know you’ll be treated well. It might not be “the best” but it feels “the best” to you – mainly due to the service.

You know how you feel when you receive excellent service. Doesn’t it make sense that you provide others with the same experience whenever you can? Even when you might not want to, no matter if you’ve had a rough day or if the customer is difficult, the payoff is usually there.

When seeking a new job it is important to emphasize service on your resume and in the interview – your relentless and commended abilities to service a customer or client will impress and substantially increase your chances at a new job or give you the best opportunity at an upcoming promotion. The hiring manager looks “like a million bucks” if the people they hire receive compliments on outstanding service. When they have to make a decision, it may come down to who makes them look the best!

Lauren Castle is the owner of Impress Express, a professional image firm, focusing on career development, resume preparation, presentation skills, etiquette and interview coaching. We are members of the Professional Association of Resume Writers. For help with your image, posting your resume, or preparing your internet-friendly resume, contact Lauren directly at 858-459-7400. And, as always, please forward your image and career-related questions to for further information.