It doesn’t matter if you are staying in a hotel, dining out or simply shopping with a retailer. Good Service is always a key factor of the experience.

I was in West Texas this past weekend for a family reunion. While there, my grandson was being baptized, and I decided to take the family out for lunch after the church service. I called a fairly nice restaurant on Saturday to see if I could reserve seating for 13 people on Sunday. To my surprise I was told “no.” So, I inquired, “you don’t take reservations?” I was informed that they only take reservations for 20 or more people on Sundays. So, I then asked to reserve 20 seats and I assured them that only 13 people would show up… to which the lady said “Yes, we can do that.” Amazing!

From now on, there is a K’Bob’s Steakhouse in Lamesa, Texas, that I will not remember whether the food was good or bad, but I will remember the service I received as I tried to reserve seats for my group.

A gentleman who had worked for Disney World for many years once told me that Disney management would tell their employees that “GREAT SERVICE CAN OVERCOME MEDIOCRE FOOD, BUT GREAT FOOD CAN NEVER OVERCOME BAD SERVICE.” That is such a true statement. There was a time when Walmart was picky about their door-greeters. Mr. Walton understood that the door greeter was the first employee seen by a customer and usually the last employee to be seen during a shopping trip to his store. Mr. Walton understood the value of a first and last impression.

So, if you are a business owner or manager, what impressions do people have of your business? And by the way, service isn’t just waiting on the table, checking a person out at the register, or drawing a map on a crumpled piece of paper to show the customer where their room is located. Service can begin with the way your business looks. Service can begin with the first greeting by an employee. Service can be rated by how long it takes for the two employees to stop talking about last Saturday’s date night and start paying attention to you… the paying customer.

Even in the Chamber of Commerce, if we can’t provide a good ROI (return on investment) to our members/customers, if we cannot provide good service, we should stop being a chamber of commerce and look for another line of work. We have to provide a good service to our members and our community.

I think George Washington Carver understood how good service can make or break a business when he said: “It is not the style of clothes one wears, neither the kind of automobile one drives, nor the amount of money one has in the bank, that counts. These mean nothing. It is simply service that measures success.”

Within our Chamber of Commerce, we don’t care whether a family spends money in Hurley, Bayard, Santa Clara, Silver City or Cliff. We just want to know that while they were in Grant County, they had a great time, that we provided them a great service, and that the money they spent here was well spent. How well we provide service during their visit will be a determining factor in a decision to return again in the future or not.