****REPOST ALERT- ON BEHALF OF MY DAD’S 74th BIRTHDAY***
Recently, an article written in the Chicago Reader 23 years ago resurfaced online about the growth of my father’s pharmacy business. The article highlighted how my dad built his business by trusting customers living with HIV/AIDS to pay back his local pharmacy so they can receive their medication in a prompt manner. It emphasized how he got to know each of his customers, their families, and often made home deliveries at no extra charge. I remember sitting in the back of the car whining about having to make so many stops, and today I realize the amazing business he was building during those stops.
My father sold that pharmacy a long time ago and he currently works for Walgreens. Just like he did at his own store, he greets customers by their first names, spends a lot of time answering questions (based upon his experience, not Google!) and I’m sure he’d make a home delivery if Walgreens would allow it.
My father taught me a lot about customer service. Because of his example, when I work on individual and group media training sessions, I try to honor that person’s individual story. I provide the personal service they need and create a long term relationship. My goal is for people to feel comfortable coming back to me for advice. I received a call from a CEO last week in a panic needing a quick interview coaching session. I made my first house call.
My father proved the importance of customer service, being kind and respectful while growing a business. Most of his customers paid him back. Enough paid him back so that he could support our family. The true definition of success for people like my father is the ability to provide for a family and grow a business *while* being kind to others. As I continue to grow my public relations and media training business, I will always keep this very valuable lesson in mind.