I talk a lot about making customers feel special and valued and will never stop encouraging this behavior. However, the best way to encourage your staff to treat customers well is to treat your staff well. I was lucky enough to see the concept put into practice a couple of weeks ago.
Recently I was invited to a surprise party at Mill Creek Winery, one of the wineries in Sonoma County’s Dry Creek Valley. The surprise party was in honor of Bruce Thomas, who has been the tasting room manager at Mill Creek for twenty years. The owners, Bill and Yvonne Kreck decided to throw a surprise party for Bruce to celebrate a great twenty years.
The party took place after the tasting room closed on a Saturday evening. It was a lovely night with food, music and, of course, great wine. The evening was made even better by the look of complete shock on Bruce’s face when he realized the party was for him. There were personal friends of Bruce’s, winery people and the Kreck family who turned out in force. I have known Bruce for longer than the twenty years that he has worked at Mill Creek and can’t think of a person more deserving of this celebration.
There are lots of things, big and small, that you can do for loyal and hardworking employees of your business. And everything that you do to let your employees know that they are doing a great job for you will reflect back onto your customers, making them want to return to such a warm and friendly place. Your reward will be increased customers and increased sales. All in all more than a fair trade.
A tip of the glass from me to Bruce, Yvonne, Bill, and you!