Ok, so some of you know that Whole Foods sent me a gift card for $25 last week for Twittering about their breakfast bar, which does serve the bomb breakfast tacos & hot buffet. That was worthy of my lauding, but not necessarily a blog post. (Sorry @wholefoods, just being honest ). I’ve been enjoying my free breakfast these past few days though.
Anyway, I witnessed why Whole Foods is changing the loyalty people have to grocers, not just by offering whole foods ;). But through its customer service. So, I had to go to my sister’s place this morning. She’s a part of this group called C.A.R.E.S. that plans events for residents in apartment complexes. This morning was her resident breakfast, which is a special buffet for residents on the property to get a hot meal and mingle with one another. For some reason, today’s breakfast got a record number of attendees, and the food ran out. <Gasp!> I know, right. Keep in mind that the event lasts from 10-12, and this is around 10:45 when the food is gone.
Bewildered, my sister goes into the leasing office to try and find nearby restaurants who she thinks would be able to deliver good food fast. I threw out Whole Foods at this point, but she shrugged it off. She called several eateries looking for things like kolaches, breakfast tacos, etc. Unsuccessful in finding someone within budget and who could make something in a short turnaround, my sister almost gives up. After she tells me that there’s no place that can do it, I suggest Whole Foods again, insisting that the breakfast is really good, but she should call. She’s hesitant at first because Whole Foods is not known for being affordable. Because she’s out of options, she listens and calls. She talks to one of the managers of the Woodway & Voss location, and he tells her gleefully , “Breakfast is over and lunch is out, but we’ll make you some breakfast tacos within 15-20 minutes. We started this new policy last week where the answer’s always yes to customers.”
Not only are the tacos ready in time, but they are well under budget. So, the day was saved, and the tacos were, as expected, darn good! Now, she’s already planned on using that location for future events, as well as on-the-go breakfast for her family. I wish I could say that I persuaded or gave them another customer, but it was their new “yes” policy. Imagine if more retailers and B-to-C companies adopted this policy. Brand disappointment, which can mature into a boycott, would be hard to come by. Granted, there are some situations that warrant a “no,” but I think within reason, giving a “yes” for the smallest customer requests can produce brand loyalty and evangelism.
So, I’m trying to think how my company can employ something similar. While we can’t say “yes” to everything, as it may come with a hefty price tag and weeks of redoing or undoing, there might be other avenues where our “yes” can create the same effect. I challenge you to try and think of ways where your organization or business could say “yes” more often. Especially in those critical moments where your customer is in a bind, and you can hear it in their voice. Let’s face it, you always remember who helped you out when you needed it the most. And you always want to keep repaying them.