MarComedy: Don’t make me laugh

For what tickles my fancy in media, communications and life in general.

Hello vs. Next

with one comment

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.


Written by Jonathan Dunn

May 16, 2008 at 12:25 pm

Posted in Customer Service

One Response

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  1. Jonathan –

    Someone who REALLY gets this — treating the client / customer like a real, living, breathing human being, not just a walking wallet — is Clayton Makepeace. If you’re not familiar with him, you should be.

    That’s why my New Year’s resolution is to unsubscribe from all the e-newsletter subscriptions I’d signed up for. They waste far too much of my time, and most just try to pitch me something. So I’ll be scrapping about fifteen newsletters. (My InBox will thank me!)

    There’s one exception. I will NOT give up my subscription to Clayton Makepeace’s The Total Package. It’s invaluable — the one internet sales and marketing newsletter I actually look forward to receiving, and read as soon as it arrives.

    My New Year’s gift / tip to the readers of this blog is to follow suit … scrap the junk you’re not reading anyway, and check out Makepeace’s Total Package.

    It’s always well written, with meat-and-potatoes content – no fluff. I always learn something I can use … or at the very least, something very interesting. And there are about 600 back-issues / articles archived at the site, all freely accessible and searchable.

    Print out all the content on his site and you’re looking at close to 3,000 pages. If you had to buy it all, you couldn’t afford it. But Makepeace gives it all away, for nothing. The man is crazy. (Like a fox.)

    Besides Makepeace himself, the site features the occasional contributions of several (24, in fact) other experts. They bring fresh perspectives and experiences to the wealth of information Clayton provides personally.

    There’s a Canadian connection, too, in that 3 of Clayton’s contributing columnists — Daniel Levis, Troy White and Michel Fortin — operate from north of the 49th … Alberta, Ontario and Quebec, respectively.

    WELL worth your time. Take 10, visit , and test a trial subscription. It’ll make your 2009.

    Frank O'Leary

    January 12, 2009 at 11:26 pm

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