Yesterday, I drove through the pharmacy window, which is quite routine for me as a mother of five. But, I am not only a mother of five, I am a mother of four children who each have or have had their own significant health problems. As I signed my initials over and over again for the prescriptions I was picking up for my large family, the familiar face in the window whispered "It's Azsi's last day today." I looked through the window and could see Azsi, the pharmacy manager, was on the phone. So, I scribbled "Azsi we will miss you!!!!", instead of my last initials.
Just in time Azsi hung up and ran over to the drive through window to tell ME how much she would miss me. She started to tell me how they loved when I came to the pharmacy because I always had a smile on my face. How most people get so frustrated with their one or two kids, but I have five and I always have a smile for them. As she is going on telling me where she is relocating across the country and where I can visit her ... the last seven years come flooding back to my mind. It was her smiling, happy, exuberant "hello Mrs. LeClaire!" that would greet me and give me the strength for the rest of the day as I drove through her window to pick up prescriptions after being up all night at the hospital with one of my children. I have counted on her happy-to-see-me over the years to pick my spirits up after the letdown of doctor visits where the realization of a chronic condition in one so young hit hard. Over the years she was even greeting my children by name, noticing how they had grown older, and that they looked healthier. I don't know whose smile came first, but I happen to know she cared about every "patient" of hers.
I don't need the pick me up so often anymore, my kids are older, healthier and stronger enabling me to grow my business and really enjoy satisfaction and success in my own life. I guess I have just come to take for granted Azsi's smiling face. But, yesterday it hit me hard to lose her. I never thought I would cry like a baby at a drive-through window with the face on the other side.
Azsi asked me if I would still be using her pharmacy after she left, my response was "are you kidding? I wouldn't dream of going anywhere else!" I have seen how she has passed on her loving nature to her staff. I could go anywhere for the medicine, maybe (and that's a big stretch) someone else could fill my orders more accurately, but that really isn't why I chose their store.
Social media has become a lot like that drive-through window. I have observed with local businesses that word of mouth is really the most powerful new business driver. A business owner with the same care and love for their customers can translate that to the online world. Genuinely caring about the individual behind the like or follow and following up with sincerity can go a long way. I couldn't help but tell you the story about Azsi, and that's what we human's do, when we experience an out-of-the-ordinary connection, we have to share it! I have experienced this give and take with many of my own clients who are thousands of miles of way.
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