We’ve been encouraging customer comments for well over 20 years. They’ve been a big part of our success. Over the years we have had tens of
thousands of them. It’s all about creating a meaningful relationship with our customers. It’s a constant process of keeping in touch and trying to understand them.
We do that all the time, for we are in business to serve customers. If you’re at the front counter or cleaning tables, you get to understand the customer. And if you’re not in love with your job, they can tell. They can smell a fake a mile off.
These customer comments have given us some wonderful and powerful stories over the years. They give the customers a voice and a chance to tell us their thoughts. Our managers and staff then take this feedback on board.
All the staff get to read the customer comments. Every day they get put up in the staff room. Then, at the end of the week, the manager sits down and writes back to every one. When writing back, we have to see the situation through the customer’s eyes. We can’t go blaming or justifying why we stuffed up. We’ve just got to apologise and return their money or do whatever needs to be done.
The closer you get to the customer’s experience, the better your reply will be. Examine your principles: what do you truly believe great service is? It looks very different from where the customer is standing.
Our job is to make the shopping experience enjoyable. So when our managers sit down to answer comments, we want them to have that empathy with the customer. And we want the customer to feel amongst friends.
Shoppers arrive at our bakeries with hope, anticipation, and excitement. Give them the right experience and they’ll leave satisfied and uplifted. But if we don’t fulfil their expectations, they leave full of resentment and disappointment.
Thank your customers for complaining. Be grateful they are helping you that way. They could just leave and never come back, and you wouldn’t know why.