Would You Stay Open Beyond Closing Time for a Customer?

Would You Stay Open Beyond Closing Time for a Customer

We don’t close until the last customer leaves

I co-own a small farm winery just west of Gettysburg, PA, USA. We do our best to instill into our employees the concept that the customer is the ONLY reason that we exist. As such, we state “we don’t close until the last customer leaves”.

We back this up with policies that include:

  • No closing of registers while the last customers are present.
  • No closing activities are to be performed until that last customer leaves.
  • No turning off lights, locking of doors or any activity that would cause the customer to feel rushed.
  • Providing the same excellent service to the late comers as was given to the first ones.
  • We even open prior to published hours when someone shows up early.

– John G. Kramb, CEO, Adams County Winery

One extra customer a day (arrival at 6pm closing) = 320 additional services a year = $22,000. It’s that simple.

– Champe Granger, Owner, Grease Monkey franchises

Stay Open Beyond Closing TimeWould You Stay Open Beyond Closing Time for a Customer? I was recently traveling abroad on work and was struggling to keep up with my time due to a lot of work the day before leaving , I hadn’t had a hair cut for months and I had to get a hair cut before I could leave because I wasn’t sure if I would have the time to get a hair cut abroad, besides it was important to make a good impression on the client I was going to meet.

It was late in the evening about 7 pm and most salons in the city I live close at 8 pm. I called up the salon where I got a hair cut the last time and they said I couldn’t get an appointment because all their hair stylists had gone home. I went to another salon close to my home and the only stylist there was busy with another client, he said he wouldn’t be able to give me a hair cut because by the time, he finished working with his client, it would be closing time and he does not work beyond closing.

So, I went back home, surfed through an online directory and found another salon close to my home. I knew where this salon was, but I had never been there before. So, I called them and they said ‘no problem’, I could come down and get a hair cut. Once I went there, there were still some customers, I waited for a while and the stylist apologized for the delay. I had no problem with that because he was willing to provide his services even after closing time. I got the hair cut I wanted and the stylist was patient and happy to give me a hair cut even after closing time. He stayed back about 40 minutes beyond closing and was even generous enough to offer me a ride back home.

I am a sucker for great service. This time, the service was quite easily the best service I’ve received in a long time. Thank you Zara Salon, you guys rock.

How working insane hours paid off for this boutique advertising agency

We had designed packaging for a line of products our client was debuting at a trade show in St. Louis, where we’re located. We created incredible prototype packages for every product in the line so the client could have a dazzling shelf set for his customers to see. At 5:30 the night before the trade show opened, our client called in a panic and said, “Can you help me? I really screwed up. It’s my fault and I’m not sure what to do. I forgot to have you make the packaging for one of the products. I’ll pay anything. Can you help?”

We said we could help, naturally. We dove in and went into overdrive. My partner Terri was amazing. I lined up one of our vendors, who has a third shift to generate full color outputs on an emergency basis – as soon as we could get digital files to their shop, they would drop everything.

We sent the die lines for the box to another vendor, to cut templates out of cardboard and have them delivered immediately.

Terri designed like mad, while lined up everyone needed to get the job done.

I called our client back to see when he would need everything – he responded “The show starts at 7:00 a.m.” I guaranteed his prototype would be there on-time. I’d meet him a the convention center loading deck at 6:00 a.m.

Terri worked until 2:00 a.m., handed me the files and I sped to the files to printer for output. There was no time to allow for any mistakes uploading or downloading documents. I handed off the files at 2:15. Color outputs were finished at 4:00 and in our offices at 4:20. The cardboard for the packaging had arrived much earlier and was waiting. Terri trimmed the outputs and affixed them to the cardboard. She finished assembling by using hot glue to seal the packaging. The time was 5:15.

I hosed myself off in the sink as best I could and headed off to meet the client – I was out the door at 5:30. When Tony, our client, walked out of the convention center at 6:00, I was standing there with his prototype. He smiled and simply said, “Thanks. I owe you. You saved my butt.”

As he turned and hurried back inside I wondered if all this work would pay off. Sure, we charged rush for the previous twelve hour sprint. But would all the work pay off? It did. Two weeks later, we got a call with a nice assignment that paid just under $175,000.

– Bill Shelton, President, Left Field Creative


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