The story begins with employee-motivation expert Barbara Glanz. The Contagious Enthusiasm author relates in her own video that she spoke several years back to an audience of 3,000 employees of a major grocery chain. She told the crowd, "Every one of you can make a difference and create memories for your customers that will motivate them to come back."
One bagger with Down Syndrome, Johnny, contacted her later to say he had thought about her advice, and come up with a plan to create those memories. Each day when he got home from work, with help from his father, he typed and printed out a thought for the day on the family's home computer. Then, the next day, as he bagged groceries, he'd put a slip with his thought into their bag.
The response was astonishing. Customers reported they had switched to shopping the store more often, as they didn't want to miss any of Johnny's thoughts! Soon his checkout line ran the length of the store, full of customers who refused to switch to shorter lines. Only Johnny's line would give them the thought for the day.
The video above tells the story in greater detail. More than 90,000 people have watched it. Bring tissues.
Why is this store so inspiring, so uplifting? Because it's a reminder that life is about more than dollars and cents. Remembering that can help businesses stand out from the crowd.
In the course of doing business, a company can do so much more than sell an item and collect customers' money. Every day their stores are open, retailers have an opportunity to transform what they're doing from a simple transaction into something that's much more than commerce -- they can lift spirits, make people smile, make employees proud of where they work, bring people together...and make their store a must-visit.
What are you doing to make your store experience memorable? Leave a comment and let us know.