BELTON – Last Tuesday afternoon, with his clipboard in hand and heading to what he thought was a meeting, Scott VonBehren, Belton Hy-Vee Convenience Store Manager walked through the doors and to his surprise saw his family, co-workers, company officials, customers and friends cheering him on. “When I walked in and everybody was there I was like this is not what I was expecting. Definitely not what I thought it was going to be. I really still didn’t have an inkling until I turned around and saw the sign,” he said. It was an enormous banner with his name on it because he had earned a prestigious honor and was being recognized as a recipient of the 2014 Hy-Vee Legendary Customer Service Award. “He is the epitome of customer service. It’s ridiculous how good he is,” said Derek Delancy, Manager of Store Operations.
Candidates are nominated for this award by co-workers and customers, and winners are selected by a panel of Hy-Vee’s top officers. Nominations are evaluated on the employee’s overall contributions to the company in nine areas: passion for customer service, attitude, initiative, teamwork, problem-solving skills, dedication to Hy-Vee fundamentals, communication skills, professional image and self-confidence.
Having grown up in the Hy-Vee family, some might say it’s in his blood. “It’s easier to excel at customer service when you don’t look at it like they’re customers but as your friends. I’ve been here a long time so I’ve got a lot of friends,” VonBehren said.
“Scott has this uncanny ability to remember everyone’s names. We don’t know how he does it. He goes above and beyond for his customers,” said Belton Hy-Vee Store Director, Brenda Slivinski.
He has taken groceries to his customer’s homes when they can’t get out. He’s always willing to air up tires and put fuel in customer’s cars. He knows when someone pulls up to the pump if they’re going to need help…so he just goes out there and fills it up for them.
Several employees and customers sent letters on VonBehren’s behalf. Hy-Vee CEO Randy Edeker said VonBehren is exactly the type of employee company officials had in mind when the Legendary Customer Service Award was established in 2006.
VonBehren will be inducted into Hy-Vee’s Customer Service Hall of Fame and receive a coveted Legendary Customer Service name badge and a custom-designed ring to commemorate the honor. He will be a guest of honor at their area’s service award dinner in October, which honors employees. He won a trip for two and his photo will be prominently featured on the side of Hy-Vee trucks. “I’m very happy for him. He loves his customers,” his wife, Jennifer said.
“It is very exciting and I am very honored I was selected and I’m very appreciative of that. But it’s more than just me…it’s everybody here…it’s just the culture. I was just fortunate enough to have been selected,” said VonBehren.