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What Doesn't Work.

I’m in a café and sandwich shop, inspired to write about “The Customer Journey.” It’s a full ninety minutes before closing and I arrive to chairs stacked on the tables, garbage can in the middle of the room and employees engaged in friendly conversational shouting across the restaurant. As I request a turkey sandwich, the cook yells from the kitchen “we don’t got no turkey” so I order tuna. The manager retorts, “we have tons of turkey” but it changes nothing, her cook shakes his head and she heads home early.

As I sit at one of two tables without chairs on them, the staff conversation shifts to how they’re sick of the food and no new combinations are helping, about how there may be a customer using the restroom they want to clean early, ”throw ‘em out that’s what I do!” Suddenly “Latte!” is bellowed out across th

e nearly empty restaurant for me to go take back to my table. I’m surprised by a nice, “Here you go, hon” - the tuna sandwich from the woman who took my order but someone else mops the floor by my table while I’m eating. I glance up to see the cashier’s butt land on the food prep counter as she hops up and browses her phone, backside to her guests.

It’s not their fault. Except the cook, they were all quite friendly, nice people. The team is loyal to each other but act as if four customers aren’t here. The company signage is geared toward online ordering and a self-order kiosk interjects itself between the door and the register. Obviously customer experience, ongoing relationships and client retention are not top company policies, despite their target audience in this location being executive-level business people and professionals who, in my experience, tend to expect higher level service. Their mistake? They think they are there to sell food.

I called an optometrist one day looking for something special for a gift. The person I spoke with didn’t have what I needed but they were so helpful, kind and understanding and sent me to the right resources I wrote them a great review so others would find them and the world would be a better place.

For better or worse, AN experience will be had by every customer, client or guest. And stories will be told about your business. Stories about how friendly or welcoming, how kind or accommodating someone was, how well they solved a problem or how an employee’s butt was on the food preparation surface during business hours. Sometimes, it pays to hire customer experience specialists to inspire anyone who interacts with your customers, users, employees, clients or guests.

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