Muddy’s Journal

muddy's guiding principles: outstanding service to others

This month we're continuing our series on Muddy's eight guiding principles--featuring eight guest posts by eight great Muddy's gnomies--with a post by the darling Sanderlin team leader and customer service guru, Allie (pictured below left with Sanderlin manager Emily W.)!

When you think about what good customer service entails, in its most basic form, it typically means meeting the customer’s needs. However, here at Muddy’s we strive to provide “outstanding service to others.” In fact, it’s one of our eight guiding principles that we both live and work by. For us gnomies, outstanding service is not just meeting the customer’s needs; it is exceeding their expectation and going the extra mile to make sure every experience at Muddy’s is outstanding. From taking the time to visit with a regular customer, to helping a new customer find a delicious treat; Muddy’s is a place that strives to give outstanding service to every single person that walks in the shop.

As a Muddy’s gnomie, I learned early on in my training the importance of giving exceptional service to others. It could be something as simple as replacing a dropped cupcake for a crying little boy or helping an elderly lady take her cake to her car. To most, these may seem like simple and kind gestures, but to me it speaks on so many levels. We are encouraged as a staff to “go the extra mile” for our customers. We don’t just serve our customers; we get to know them, their families, and their favorite treats. At Muddy’s, our customers are a part of the family. For the past 3 years, I have had the amazing opportunity of being a part of the Muddy’s team, truly giving me first-hand experience of what it means to give outstanding service.

Of course, none of this would be possible without our fearless leader, Kat Gordon.

She is the perfect example of a servant leader, always striving to provide outstanding service to staff. When I first became a team leader at Muddy’s, I had the amazing opportunity to read an article for Muddy’s Book Club about servant leadership—something that all of the Muddy’s leadership team constantly exhibits.

Zingerman’s co-founding partner, Ari Weinzweig explains that, “The basic belief of Servant Leadership is that, we, as leaders, are here – first and foremost – to serve our organizations. This may sound obvious, or even inevitable, but in our experience, it’s neither. In more traditional organizations, the service ethic flows in the opposite direction; that is, the organization is set up to serve its leaders, not the other way around.” The leadership team here at Muddy’s is incredible, and always strives to put the needs of the team first. They spend countless hours working hard to ensure that Muddy’s is a fantastic experience for customers and team members. Their outstanding service to the team makes it easier for front line staff to provide customers with amazing customer service.

Servant leadership is something I see exhibited daily by my coworkers. Before leaving work, every single staff member, including management, checks with everyone on the next shift to see if they need anything. We strive to provide outstanding service even to our internal customers, always ready to help set each other up for success.

To me, being a Muddy’s gnomie means so much more than slinging cupcakes and pie. I love that I get to go into work and make customer’s days happier. I have the amazing and unique opportunity to experience small, yet important celebrations in my customer’s lives. From birthdays and anniversaries, to graduations and holidays, there’s always something to celebrate! I have regular customers who mean the world to me—I’m looking at you, Brad and David—and keep me filled in on their celebrations and adventures. There’s something extraordinary about getting to be a part of others’ special occasions that gives me absolute joy!

Sure, celebrating birthdays and holidays may seem like a normal reason to come to a bake shop, but our customers also come see us on bad days as well. We are there with a sweet treat and a kind word when someone loses a loved one or pet, or even has a rough day at work. Yes, we experience those days, too. But that’s what makes Muddy’s customer service so unique. We are there, regardless of the day, with a warm, welcoming smile, ready to hopefully make their day a little bit brighter.

Outstanding service to others is truly my favorite guiding principle here at Muddy’s. Without our incredible team and amazing customers, none of this would be possible. To serve means to give to others before yourself. Here at Muddy’s I work with a team of fantastic people who time and time again exhibit what it means to give outstanding service to others. They are what make Muddy’s a truly amazing place, and for that I am extremely grateful!