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From Home Furnishing Business

Editor's Note: Summer Blockbuster

By: Sheila Long O'Mara 

Summertime is here, and that can only mean one thing—movies! Well, really more than that, but in our house we make a lot of runs to the cinema for movie watching this time of the year.

Tons of kid-friendly movies are released, dark theaters offer a cool retreat from South Carolina’s often oppressive humidity and of course, that gargantuan bucket of popcorn to share.

A recent outing landed one parental unit in the outlandishly long snack line and the other in the theater with the boys. Time was ticking, and the 761 previews were winding down. The popcorn line was unyielding.

 Dan rushes into the darkened theater, arms overflowing with sugar, salt and, what should have been buttery goodness. Once settled, he mentions that due to the recent redesign of the local Regal’s lobby and concession stand the popcorn butter is no longer self-serve. This, of course, means my sack of corn is missing an important component.

Apparently, with the redesign, the management saw fit to streamline popcorn service so that associates add the liquid goo behind the counter. I’m completely OK with the change; I prefer being waited on and pampered!

We’d just missed out on the information that the process had changed.

With sack in hand, I fly out of the theater to the concession stand to fetch the butter. All’s good, there’s yet another preview rolling; I’ve got time.

Or, that’s what I thought until I see the line snaking to and fro in the rope barriers. Just as I’m about to forego the butter stuff, a guy named Jeremy—my new best Regal friend—appears at the counter of straws, napkins and hot dog condiments.

I ask where I could find the butter pump; he explains the change. I glance at the line, look back and him and jokingly say “It’s not worth it.”

He, with all of his 16-year-old wisdom, serves up a bigger-than-life smile and responds, “Oh, yes ma’am it is. Hang on one second.”

My new favorite Regal ambassador, sets down his broom and bag, goes behind the counter, washes his hands, and reaches for my bag filled with flourescent yellow fluffiness. “We’ve got this,” he says.

Wow! That small, two-minute gesture made my day—and my popcorn. A customer service homerun in an unexpected venue that made me feel important. A gesture that moved me two hours later to seek out management and share Jeremy’s extraordinary customer service.

Simple acts of wowing customers—and disappointing them—can be found in all aspects of retail. Let’s hope your stores are filled with the extraordinary blockbusters that leave consumers in awe.

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