3 things that underwear taught me about excellent customer service


By Cate Schreck - Service Excellence Coach

Andrew Griffiths (Australia's #1 Small Business Author) recently asked me to answer this question, "What did you learn in your first job and how does it apply in your business today?" 

My first job was in 1984. I worked Friday night and Saturday morning at the local variety store in Warracknabeal, Victoria. My duties included being bright and friendly to the customers whilst making sure all the products for sale were neat and tidy and the labels and tags were facing up so the customers could clearly see them. The underwear section was always a mess and I become an expert at folding bras, knickers, socks and jocks and I could win Gold if stacking a shelf was an Olympic event.

Some customers wanted things done differently and not all customers were bright and friendly but I was taught that my job was to be professional and helpful, not judgemental. I was taught 3 things;

  1. Presentation counts - of me, my workplace and my products/services.
  2. Smile and be friendly to every customer  - no judgement
  3. Make it easy for customers to access products and service  - less fuss and more bother

Talk about a Lightbulb Moment! Andrew's question reminded me that those 3 learnings still underpin how I provide service to my customers and it's what customers still want and in some cases will pay more to receive.

Where some businesses fail is they forget that excellent service is not a "one-size fits all" process and customer service staff need a set of skills to provide a consistently superior level of service to every customer, every day. Those skills can be learned and need to be refreshed or they can be forgotten.

If you or your business interact with customers face to face or over the phone, then you need to have high level soft skills - or as I like to call them, people skills. Soft skills are what we use to build rapport and show respect and when done well, they can increase sales, guarantee repeat business and have new customers referred to us.

If you would like help to improve your Soft Skills or to build a culture of service excellence in your business  - Contact Lightbulb Training Solutions today. We help business in Geelong, Ballarat, Melbourne and Regional Victoria to grow through service excellence.

PS: In case you were wondering;  I do still have incredibly neat shelves but I've stopped folding underwear.