I always like to share experiences of good customer service.

It’s important that people who deal with the public on a day-to-day basis know when they’ve made that interaction a good experience.

Now I also think those people should be made aware when it has NOT been a good experience. But this column isn’t about that. It’s about letting some our community’s businesses know that I see their effort to engage with their customers and I see the extra mile they go to in order to make those interactions pleasant.

I may turn this into a regular thing but, for now, here are some of the local businesses I’ve dealt with recently at which my experience has been wholly positive. These businesses make our community look good.

Ana’s By the River — I only recently started going to Ana’s on a regular basis. First of all, the food NEVER disappoints. Everything I’ve tried there is so tasty. But I’ve found that the staff at Ana’s are always pleasant and chatty with customers, always have smiles on their faces and make sure you have a great dining experience.

Frank Purdy Electric — I had an electrical issue at my home recently and needed it looked at. I reached out to the company’s owner, Frank Purdy, and he assured me his guys would be in touch soon. It wasn’t but 10 minutes later that I got a call from his workers asking me to meet them at my house. The two men were extremely courteous and professional, identified and fixed the problem immediately and didn’t make me feel like an idiot for something I could have fixed myself. I know dealing with mechanics, plumbers and electricians can sometimes be frustrating, since in many instances we have NO CLUE what the problem is or how to fix it. So we feel like we’re at their mercy. But this company made the situation as easy for me as I could have hoped for.

Shane’s Rib Shack — Shane’s is a popular place for folks to eat. The food is good and they have a great track record of giving back to the community in a variety of ways, not least of which is offering discounts to first responders and law enforcement. However, I am always impressed by the level of customer service shown by the manager and employees. They always make sure I have everything I want and need with my order, even if that means they have to make several trips back and forth between my table and the kitchen. On several occasions I’ve seen the manager address a customer service issue swiftly and decisively to make sure the customer was satisfied. You can always count on a smile from the cashier and servers.

Habitat for Humanity ReStore — If you aren’t familiar with the ReStore, it’s a large building where you can buy used home goods such as furniture and décor that’s been donated. The money made from the sale of these items goes to Habitat for Humanity. I like to stop in at the store a couple times a week to look at any cool furniture they might have. The workers are fantastic about making people feel at home. They make it a very friendly and relaxed atmosphere. From the manager to the cashiers to the guys who unload the trucks and move all those pieces of furniture around, everyone makes you feel welcome. They all make it a fun place to visit and shop. I know people come from out of town to shop there and that reflects well on our community when they have a great experience and tell people about it.

McAlister’s Deli — I know this is a new franchise in town and I know you should always support local. And I do. I also happen to support places that sell good food and have good customer service. I’ve been to McAlister’s several times since they’ve opened and the customer service has been excellent each time. The employees are super friendly and very helpful. And then after they bring you your order, they keep coming back to check if you need anything. They even get you refills without you having to get up from your table. My lazy butt appreciates that.

Riverdog Outpost — This super laid-back bar and beer garden is a popular place to hang out and enjoy the riverside atmosphere. Plus you can bring your dog, which is one of the best perks. However, what makes Riverdog a great place for me is the friendliness of the bar staff and the owners. Their easygoing personalities and constant smiles put you at ease immediately and you can’t help but have a great time when you’re there. When friends visit from out of town, this is one of the places I like to take them because it’s such a friendly atmosphere.

The reason I like to highlight good customer service around town is that it’s a reminder to business all over our community that we see you going that extra mile to make sure folks are satisfied. We know that even if it’s been a long and stressful day, you still put that smile on your face. And we appreciate it.

Severo Avila is Features Editor for the Rome News-Tribune.

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