Starbucks making price irrelevant – The coffee chain reported a higher quarterly profit with a 7% increase in sales in their U.S. stores as compared to Dunkin’ Donuts U.S. sales, which only only rose 2.7%. Why are Starbucks sales up so much? Three reasons: 1) Starbucks’ Customers are spending more money per visit due to an expanded product offering; 2) Some of the new products on their menu such as “Flat White” espresso and Teavana iced teas plus baked goods, have a higher price tag; and 3) Starbucks consistently delivers an exceptional Customer experience. People will pay for that! What is next? Starbucks is slowly rolling out selling of alcohol in different markets.
Don’t inconvenience your Customers twice – This is such a common occurrence in nearly every business. Last week I showed up to an appointment (shoulder rehab) that I made three weeks earlier, only to be told the physical therapist had to cancel and they left a message on my home phone. That isn’t the problem. When I asked when I could reschedule, they told me not for three more weeks. I had just waited three weeks for this appointment and the company had to cancel, and now they are telling me I have to go back to the end of the line? This has happened so many times to me as a Customer with repairmen coming out to fix an appliance or cable. I understand that stuff comes up — trucks break down, service providers get sick, an earlier appointment runs much longer than expected; however, when it is the company’s fault, they have to have contingency plans in place to accommodate the Customer who was inconvenienced. At John Robert’s Spa, we were even guilty of this. A guest who waited several weeks would have to be rescheduled because their service provider was sick. Today, instead of making the guest wait until their first available appointment, we know that we need to open additional hours for that service provider for the next week to accommodate the inconvenience caused to the guest. Can your company be guilty of this in someway?
Delta Airlines goes above & beyond when they didn’t even have to – I recently was flying Delta Airlines out of Fort Walton Beach through Atlanta, when all the passengers waiting to board the plane were told that there was going to be a delay due to storms in the Atlanta area. Every 15-20 minutes either the gate agent or the Delta Pilot would update us on the status of our flight, most of the time just saying, “Unfortunately we have nothing new to report.” After about 60 minutes of waiting, the pilot informed us that due to storms, the Atlanta Airport would be shut down for at least 90 minutes. Obviously people were not too happy, but if you travel enough, you know these things will happen. About 20 minutes later, a dozen large pizzas arrive at our gate for all the delayed passengers to enjoy, courtesy of Delta Airlines. Hold on! This wasn’t Delta’s fault. The delay wasn’t due to mechanical issues or a shortage of flight crew. The entire Atlanta airport was shutdown, which affected all airlines coming and going. However, Delta understood that while it wasn’t their fault, it was their problem. Great job Delta Airlines!
A smile is part of the uniform – Every employee needs to understand that wearing a consistent smile is just as important as his or her nametag or any other part of the uniform. While I am not involved with John Robert’s Spa day-to-day, I do get copied on certain notifications. A few weeks back I saw an email that announced that two recently hired employees were let go from John Robert’s. I was surprised, as I don’t see that too often. To be honest, sometimes we struggle keeping employees longer than we should. So I asked why these two employees were let go. I was pleasantly surprised at the response I got: “Because they just wouldn’t smile.” It wasn’t anything to do with their performance or skill level, but it was they just didn’t fit in, they didn’t appear happy. I was proud that my managers wouldn’t compromise on attitude. Remember — if you are happy, tell your face!