I’m Glad I Got to Meet Her Angel Twin

Executive Coaching

I was in a store purchasing shoes that I really like. I buy a lot of this brand and usually at this outlet store. This particular day they had a sale, so if bought one pair I would get a second pair at half price.

I asked the clerk if I he had the shoe I wanted in my size. It wasn’t on the shelf. He said he’d go back and check and came out with the shoe I wanted in my size.

After I looked at some more shoes I asked him if he had another one in my size. He said that he couldn’t go back to the stock room any more. If it wasn’t on the shelf, I could order it on line. I tried to figure out why he could go back once, and not go back after that.

I told him that this didn’t make sense to me. He said there’s nothing more he could do. I asked if I could speak to the manager. She came to me and told me that he had told me the correct answer. She said they couldn’t do that for wide sizes. I told her that I didn’t ask for a wide size and she just looked at me with no reaction.

I asked for her regional manager’s phone number. She excused herself and came back, but this time with a smile. At first, I thought it was her “angel” twin. She was energetic, friendly, helpful and said she would help me in any way that she could. She brought out twelve different boxes to make sure I was satisfied.


  1. Are you sure there isn’t anyone on your team who would handle things the way those two people did?
  2. Do you ever do something like that? (After all, if you do, your people probably will, too.)
  3. Do your people make decisions in their own in favor of the customer or do they tend to be internally focused, instead of externally?

One of the reasons I do a “Mystery Customer” program is to help organizations learn how their people act when the leader is NOT there. That tells you everything, doesn’t it?

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