One Saturday morning, Mama instructed me to buy pandesal in one of the nearest stores in our area.
When I arrived at the store, I said “Pabili” (May I buy?). The store owner (a lady) went out. I said, “Pabili po ng bente pesos na pandesal.” (I’d like to buy twenty pesos worth of bread.) The lady gave me the bread, but she took long in giving me a change for fifty pesos.
While waiting, I saw two men – an adult and a teenager – riding a bike. They were approaching the store where I bought the pandesal. When they arrived, I learned that the adult man was the lady’s husband, the teenager the son. They came home from rationing pandesal from neighboring areas.
“O, bakit ang tagal mong mag-sukli? Naghihintay ang customer,” (What’s taking you so long to give change? The customer’s waiting.) I overheard the man say to the lady, gently yet with urgency.
“Naghahanap ako ng barya; naubos na kasi,” (I’m trying to get loose change) the lady said. She then came out of the store, gave me my change, and with a smile, said, “Eto na ang sukli. Pasensya na po, natagalan.” (Here’s your change. Sorry for the delay). I said no problem, and then went on my way.
An ordinary story? Not for me.
Here’s the thing: the family may be selling pandesal, yet they know to value a customer.
From afar, the man and the teenager saw me waiting. They were already sensing there must be something wrong with the customer engagement.
When they arrived, the man gently yet told his wife not to make a customer wait.
Their teenage son made sure their bikes were properly parked. If he won’t do it, their bikes would look not presentable (and in working condition!) to their other customers.
The lady who gave me the change gave an apologetic smile because of the delay.
So for me, they are not just selling morning bread.
They’re selling world-class pandesal.
And that, ladies and gents, is my pandesal wisdom.
How about you? How do you value your clients? Share them with me on the comments!