We have always heard the phrase “You only get one chance to make a first impression”. For the most part that is true. My wife and I were having lunch at a new restaurant. We had heard amazing things about this place and we kept planning to go, but it just never worked out. We finally had a day where we thought about it, and made the trip to try the new place out.
You could tell the minute you walk through the door, that this was a well thought out and planned restaurant. It was beautiful on the inside, very modern and nice. The tables and chairs were upscale. It was a very nice restaurant. Very pleasant and appealing.
When our server brought out the menus, they were simple, easy to understand, and the prices were actually better than I expected for such a nice place. The server was friendly and helpful.
When we were ready to order, we asked for iced tea as our beverage. Now in Dallas, iced tea is the beverage of choice unless you are having an adult beverage of some kind. It is expected at every restaurant I have been too in the Dallas area. Some places now even offer “sweet” tea. Awesome.
Anyway, our server told us they were out of iced tea. WHAT? I asked are you kidding? How do you run out of iced tea at a mexican restaurant? So, my wife and I had water. After the server walked away, I asked my wife, “Isn’t there a grocery store a few blocks away and isn’t it open right now?” Of course the answer was yes. So we discussed the fact that this place, with it’s beautiful (and expensive) amenities, failed at a fundamental component of the customer experience. Our perception of the place totally changed at that point.
Things happen like this when there is a lack of process. Processes produce predictable and consistent results. There should have been some type of inventory process that made sure that there was ALWAYS iced tea for the customers and if you ran out, you had plan B to go to the store and get some until the replacement inventory arrived.
I see many organizations lose customers, or create the wrong impression by failing to pay attention to the details of the entire customer experience. We have enough lousy service and situations out there. When you pay attention to the details of the customer experience, you set yourself up to create that favorable mindset and feeling about your product or service. It is the little details, that if done right, can separate you from your competition and secure that customer for an ongoing and meaningful relationship.
Take time to look at your customer experience and your processes. Do you deliver on your brand promises on a regular and consistent basis? If not, fix it and begin to gain that positive perception about your business again. People are looking for the exception to the norm. Attention to detail and the little things, can really set you apart. Details do matter, even if it is a glass of iced tea.
Have a great day!