April 7th, 2014 •
Comments Off on INsight: The World Runs SLOW on “Dunkin Donuts”
by Bill Simmel
file this one under, “i’m really not making this up. . .”
I went into Dunkin’ Donuts the other day and ordered a # 6 — an egg and cheese sandwich and a medium coffee for a special combo price of $3.99. But I didn’t want that much coffee (I knew I’d drink whatever was in the cup and this was after all, my 9th cup of the morning, I know too much coffee but let me proceed), so I nicely asked the young man to just give me a small cup. He said ok, but when he rung it up, it came to $5.85!!
Now, I’m no mathematician, but even in New Jersey, that sounds like a lot of sales tax on a $3.99 order. Turns out the small coffee wasn’t part of the combo package so the computer rang them up separately. After a discussion and explaining to the young man what happened, I said “let’s retry this again. . . Go ahead and ring it up as a medium at the special prices , just give me a small coffee instead of the medium coffee!” Sounds simple, ya think!
“No can do”, the young man behind the counter — very friendly and seemingly quite sharp. Now here is where it gets strange, he told me that he had to give me a medium coffee in order to give me the $3.99 price. He said this was “their” rules! Now, he seemed like a very nice young man and I did not want him to listen to my business rant on “who are they”? So, I agreed to the medium size cup, but now here’s where I get creative and a bond is formed and 2014 meets 1967 – thoughts merge.
As he was filling the medium cup, I whispered to him over the counter, “Psst. . . just fill the medium cup halfway, and I gave him the “ol New Jersey Wink” !” He paused and thought for a moment, then got a big smile on his fact, gave me a knowing nod, (you know “that nod”, young people give when they just beat the system) and that’s just what he did a 1/2 fill in a medium cup. Then he did something that almost floored me, he flashed the 60′s solidarity fist, almost to scream out “we did it, we just beat the man”, the only thing missing were the words “right on”. I am thinking this young kid was raised by parents who told him about the 60’s, but until that moment he never knew a protest.
I got a small coffee disguised inside a medium cup. The kid handed me the cup and seemed quite pleased we (he and I became radicals for that single moment), WE found a way to bond, shakeup the system, and move the “establishment”, WE for that moment were united to change the world.
What’s it all mean?
The 60′s are over,
rebellion against the establishment has taken a new tone and new form!
Besides my view on Dunkin Donuts’ business practices,and 60’s protests,
the business thought here is, customer experiences, flexibility and training.
Make certain your business (and ALL employees) remains flexible to accommodate your customers’ needs and possible wants. Competition is on “every corner” looking for your customers’ dollars, so a wonderful customer experience is a prerequisite to service and a building block to retention. And by ALL means, make certain you properly train your staff, not only to perform their daily tasks, but more importantly,that they use common sense in handling customer interaction. It is ESSENTIAL for any business, regardless of size, to be proactive in all areas of servicing the customer. IF YOU DON’T TAKE GOOD CARE OF YOUR CUSTOMERS, SOMEONE ELSE WILL! Company marketers continually learn and spend pockets of money on search optimization to gain customers, why not learn and spend money on CUSTOMER OPTIMIZATION in keeping them once you find them!
Author’s Note: Anyone who grew up in the 60’s will understand my “protest” reference, and to others who have heard my sales training sessions and my unique formative years in the sixties; you will understand even more! I viewed three types of people in the 60’s – those that made IT happen, those that watched IT happened, and those that walked around all day asking “what’s happening”. I find those same “type” of people exist in most organizations today. My sales training programs and empowerment sessions makes participants become part of the make it happen crowd. (I know a shameless plug for business, even from a product of the 60’s).
Thanks, for letting me get this off my chest.
– Bill Simmel
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Tags: Bill Simmel, Insights