Header photo: Julie Demester stands in front of the Armory.
On a sunny Friday afternoon, a customer walked into the Choice Financial in Grafton to pick up the key to Choice’s community room. The room is rented to the public for various gatherings; in this case, it was a child’s birthday party. After the customer left, the employee noticed the room was also booked to someone else. The mom and grandma who were organizing the event would be stopping in to pick up the key that afternoon.
“We have a calendar that keeps track of who is renting it. But somehow, it got double-booked this time,” explained Julie Demester, a Compliance Officer at Choice in Grafton.
The co-worker who noticed the problem came to Julie in a panic.
“What are we going to do!” she asked. “They’re going to be so upset.”
Julie remained calm and thoughtful, her mind working out a solution.
“We’re going to figure it out,” she said. “We’ll take care of it.”
“We’re going to figure it out.”
She immediately got to work. First, she made a phone call to the Armory, another local community room available for rent. As the phone rang, she crossed her fingers hoping it was still available — and it was! She booked it for the next day and explained that it was for a birthday party for a Choice customer.
Next, she jumped in her car and headed to the Armory to sign the papers and pick up the key, covering the cost so that the customer wouldn’t have any fees. She called the customer and informed her of the situation, explaining that another location was prepared and taken care of.
“Wow, you really went out of your way!” the customer said, surprised.
“It’s my pleasure,” Julie responded.
Because it was after work hours, the customer came to Julie’s house to pick up the key. Julie handed it over with an envelope containing the details. She offered to call the invitees to inform them of the new address, but the customer assured her they could do so.
In the end, the customer walked away with a smile and a solution. Just as Julie had hoped.
Her coworker, Cheryl Feltman, heard about the situation that afternoon with admiration.
“I like to think about, ‘How can we make a not so good experience, a great one?’”
“The easy thing would have been to tell them, ‘Sorry, there was a mistake,’” Cheryl said. “But Julie really went out of her way. It’s who we are, being PeopleFirst.”
“I like to think about, ‘How can we make a not so good experience, a great one?’” Julie added. “This was an opportunity to make it count.”Thanks to her quick thinking, two birthday parties were held that Saturday with great success.