GUELPH - The first time Damien Smith realized the power of his uplifting work attitude at the Tim Hortons drive-thru was when he made someone cry.
“They came up to me and they looked me at the window and they looked like they were crying. For a second I was like ‘oh no what did I do?’ They said, ‘I've had the worst day of my life, and you really brought it up, so thank you very much.’” says Smith.
“It was kind of a cementing point for me like ‘okay this was fun before, but now this is something that I am going to keep doing.’”
Smith is known by regulars of the Guelph Timmines' as a cheerful young man who makes a funny voice and gives you words of encouragement in the few seconds of interaction you have with him while grabbing your coffee and Timbits.
That would be Smith.
For the past few months, people have been taking their comments about Smith to Facebook and Twitter discussing his praiseworthy customer service.
Some of the examples off Facebook:
Suzanne DeVries I just want to send a huge shout out to the young man at Tim Hortons on Wellington , close to Downtown. I don't know his name, but every time he is serving me he has an amazing sense of humor and always makes my day!!
Alison Reid We actually go out of our way to go to that Tim’s just for him and the staff. They are always so uplifting!
Judit Lukacs He should get double pay! I’m sure so many people goes there just because of him! ☺️
Wendi Flesher-Ostler 👏👏👏I have been greeted by this perfect radio voiced young man. He always puts a smile on my face. Tim Hortons should acknowledge how valuable he is to the success of this drive thru . Along with a very competent staff at this location , this young man makes it pleasant experience to go through the drive -thru . Excellent customer service 👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼
And on Twitter:
Shoutout to the absolute gem of a guy that works the drive thru window @TimHortons on Wellington St in downtown #Guelph Cheerful, friendly, fun customer service every single time. #customersatisfaction You make our mornings better! pic.twitter.com/GrbV6bU3Fv— Cathy Lennon (@Cathy_Lennon) July 9, 2019
Smith, who has worked at Tim Hortons for a decade, says his motivation to stick to customer service is specifically dealing with customers’ reactions.
“It’s strange but you can see some confusion in some people's faces, the kind of reactions, the positive reactions you get when you have a good attitude or you do something a little extra like spin a tray or tell a dumb little joke. It catches people,” says Smith.
Smith’s manager at Tim Hortons says he’s gotten a lot of recognition for his customer service.
“All I get is compliments about him. He's always positive and that's what I love,” says manager Cindy Fox.
She says she always hears customers’ feedback about his exceptional attitude.
“He comes to work just happy and wants to have a great day and make people laugh. That's his main thing. He wants to make people smile,” says Fox.
“You never see him in a bad mood. Never ever.”
Smith says he didn't expect recognition on social media from hundreds of people around the city.
While he is known to make other people's day, he says it also makes his day knowing his customers are happy.
“Everyone's mood is affected by the one they interact with so my day gets better when their day gets better,” says Smith.
Customer Cathy Lennon says the best part about his customer service is how he makes people feel.
“I always feel like I made his day and I'm sure he must make everyone feel that way,” says Lennon.
“For instance, I went there this morning, and I have this Time Hortons reward card so he takes the reward card from me and says ‘I think today is going to be your lucky day!’”
Lennon says she first encountered him last winter and immediately noticed his admirable attitude.
She says he has a funny way of using his voice in a cheerful jokey way that can put a smile on anyone's face.
“Like I'm here for one minute to get a coffee on my way to work and he makes me smile and it's really simple,” says Lennon.
Fox says the team is incredibly lucky to have Smith as one of their employees and says he deserves all the recognition he is getting.
“It's such a negative world these days so it's really nice to have something positive like this,” says Fox.
Smith’s popularity has led his sister, Alica Joyce to convince him to create a YouTube channel called Gently Toasting where he acts out interactions with customers to make people laugh.
“That is my goal honestly,” says Smith.
“No one can be perfect but I strive to at least make that impression for whoever I'm working with.”