London, Thursday, July 8th

The alarm on Josh’s phone was without mercy, and for good reason; it was already 8am. Josh had a busy sightseeing schedule ahead of him, which would take him all over London. This time, he had had a good night as a result of the intensive walking he had done the day before. Buckingham Palace, Green Park, Hyde Park, the National Gallery, and Tate Modern had kept him going the whole day.

Today he planned to visit and experience a number of retailers on Bond Street, Regent Street, and in Soho. Marcia had also suggested a visit to the West eld Shopping Center in White City, but Josh wasn’t sure yet. He was more a fan of smaller stores and boutiques, mainly because of the personal attention they paid their customers.

While taking a shower, Josh decided to go and have breakfast at the restaurant next door again. He thought over what had happened the previous evening. Again, the restaurant staff impressed him. Marcia would be coming back late and Josh had decided to have a good time anyway. While enjoying a delicious smoked chicken ‘club’ tartine, Josh had started a conversation with a guest at the next table. Pat from New Zealand and Josh agreed that the ambiance in the restaurant was different in a very pleasant manner. It was fun, light, and simply very engaging. Apparently, young and old guests seemed to have a good time, Josh had been thinking when he looked around.

Quote - People can actually turn good service into a memorable experienceIt was Pat who actually asked one of the staff, Doreen, for the secret of their service. That had led to a remarkable conversation. “We are actually all CAREmakers,” “I mean, everybody’s job title here is CAREmakers,” Doreen continued. “and we feel like we all want to be genuine CAREmakers.” “You can tell,” Pat had replied.

Josh realized this made a lot of sense. The co-workers turned the restaurant into a remarkable place. It seemed that Doreen and every one of her colleagues genuinely cared and that each and every one of them felt responsible for a good guest experience. Something that, Josh and Pat agreed, was quite rare. In most restaurants, hotels, and in most shops, staff members were simply providing a service; very often without truly caring, and certainly without going the extra mile. It had then struck Josh that this was part of the issue in several stores on his street. Many people were merely doing, or even surviving, their shift and just providing a service, instead of contributing to memorable experiences.

While finishing his shower, Josh figured this wasn’t the issue in his store, although some of the part-timers perhaps didn’t care too much about others. He decided to ask if the restaurant also worked with part-timers, and if so, how engaged did they feel?

Josh was looking forward to his retail expedition today. Doreen and one of her colleagues had suggested several shops, as well as some small markets and forgotten retail spaces that would still be worthwhile to visit. They had marked all the suggestions on a small map. All he needed was his Oyster card for the Tube-the London Metro-and a pair of comfortable walking shoes. Josh could already feel his feet aching, but was also eager to start his discovery tour.


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