7-11 Store #18786

A few weeks ago on the Twitter Customer Service chat #custserv, during a topic on younger generations, an interesting comment was made, that caused a stir and controversy.

those who have to work often don’t come from loving, supportive families

Let me tell you about some folks who work for 7-11 store #18786, in Oak Grove, Oregon.

I step into Oak Grove 7-11 nearly every day, usually for a cup of coffee, some gum and occasionally tobacco or a corndog (yes, I have a secret addiction to corndogs). I’ve been spending money there for over a year.

I’ve come to know the staff there and have enjoyed many a great conversation with them. The franchise owners now run two stores miles apart. They seem to be in their mid-forties and work very hard to grow successfully.

The staff at this store is young – probably all under 25. Every one of them delivers honest and authentic presence to every customer that comes in – from the homeless dude to the businessperson.

I’ve stood in the store too many times, chomping corndogs for about 15 minutes a time, at different times, just observing the customer service interactions. Everytime, these young folks deliver exceptionally.

To the statement above made during a chat – I totally disagree. I’m not saying that I know the back-stories of these fine young folks; I know bits and pieces. One young woman is mother to two young kids; she has told me of the love she received growing up with her grandparents. Another young woman often describes how close she is to her family. Another gentleman – the overnighter – has shared how much he misses his family back east.

I’m trying to do two things with this blogpost. I’m trying to illustrate that front-line customer service people in operations like 7-11, can often be maligned by callousness. This society judges others often by their “apparent society position”. It’s a degrading practice, often done without thought. I’m also thanking the folks at this 7-11.

To my friends at Oak Grove 7-11, thank you. Thank you for your cheery hellos and banter. You have brightened many a moment. To the franchise owners of this store, thank you for hiring so smartly. It speaks volumes about your business acumen. And, 7-11, I hope you recognize well people like this, out there putting human smiles on the face of your brand.

Happy Holidays to all of those who deal with customers! Without you – there would not be commerce.

Jeffrey J Kingman

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One Comment to “7-11 Store #18786”

  1. Excellent, Jeff! This is an example of how great customer service can be delivered anywhere, at any time, by people–regardless of age, ethnicity, or economic strata–who are focused on Customers. The LL Beans, Nordstroms, Zappos and Amazons don’t own the Customer Service focus, they just practice it in large enough arenas to garner lots of attention–and that attention is deserved. But every day, cab drivers, airport Red Caps, hotel bellman and housekeepers, restaurant waitstaff, postal carriers, and convenience store workers with the right focus make all our lives better, one block at a time, one bag at a time, one corn dog at a time. Thanks for posting!

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