Hello vs. Next
The company that pays my bills recently moved and with the office move came a transition to a new Tim Hortons.
My previous local Timmy’s was at Front & Church. It’s a busy location and usually had a long line up in the morning. In typical Canadian fashion, patrons would form a straight and orderly line while waiting for the next available cash. When one became free, the cashier would say ‘Next’ and the person at the top of the line would shuffle forward.
Our new office is near Richmond and Sherbourne and there’s a Timmys on that corner. The great thing about Tim Hortons is that you know exactly what you’re getting. Products, product quality and store layout/design is uniform throughout the chain. But what has struck me about my new Timmy’s is that, while there’s still the orderly line-up, when there is a free cash the cashier looks directly at the person at the front of the line as says ‘Hello’.
Saying ‘next’ or ‘hello’ accomplishes the same thing – it indicates that the person at the cash is ready to take your order and satisfy your coffee cravings. But I find it makes a tremendous difference in how I feel when I place my order. It feels like the person is there ready to look after me as a customer instead of just another order to process.
It’s a small thing, but that’s what matters when it comes to providing a positive retail/service experience.
Good work new Timmys. I raise my large, two milk, one sugar, to you.