Instant Problem: When a company annoys me to the point that I just HAVE to be done with them because I’ve given it too much of my money and time and I deserve better!!!!….

Instant Solution: Then they send that sweet ole’ survey out and I give it a piece of my mind but then they actually act upon my response→ UGH! okay…I guess we can try this again… you know I can’t stay away from you!

The Panera Bread Company in a Richmond suburb got my order all wrong one morning. It was the worst morning to get my breakfast wrong, especially when I was craving it before I hit the road to move out of VA permanently. The problem? Bad customer experience! ↔I was on a tight schedule and didn’t look at my sandwich until I hit the road, but I do recall verifying that the bag I touched was mine. I was hungry, it was hot and I had a long ride to go and nothing but the wrong breakfast sandwich in the car that I ate out of desperation. If I ever went back to VA or Panera, it certainly wasn’t going to be that one.

About a day later, a survey arrived in my inbox. I reluctantly filled it out because I had no idea they would actually consider my response and act accordingly. The manager of that location called me about a day or two later apologizing and asking me to allow them a chance to rectify the situation. That was all I needed! After all, people make mistakes. Now, I can’t wait to get to Panera one morning and finally get the Mediterranean Egg White on Asiago Focaccia. I’ll even visit that one if I’m in the area.

A few things to note:

  1. It didn’t matter to me that it was an honest mistake in that ONE moment. Instead, what mattered was all of the other stress I was under→Panera was supposed to be the light at the end of the tunnel but after that mistake it felt like the tunnel crumbled on top of me.
  2. Regardless of my negative experience, I was still driven to respond to the survey.
  3. The timeliness of the entity’s action per my response made me feel as if they really cared about my experience and would implement tighter controls to prevent a future upset (for me or any other HANGRY patron).

Moral of the story? Timeliness and the desire to be great for your customers and yourself is appreciated and creates WINS! Don’t be afraid to ask your customers about their experience immediately- the timeliness will allow for a more honest response (this is key in implementing changes that actually mean something to your customers).

Lastly but MOST importantly, don’t just ask the question- DO SOMETHING about the response. Of course bad customer experiences require immediate attention, but don’t forget to show your brand lovers some love. 

Your customers’ perception can quickly effect your businesses reality (+/-). Find a way to control the perception so that you can create your reality!

~CTaylorGo for your Brand and Product Marketing Strategy Needs.

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