I write this post from a Starbucks in Bethesda, Maryland, where I now sit waiting for my mentor to arrive. As I stood in line for my cuppa, I noticed two flies having their way with the donuts and pastries in the display case. Since I was not in the mood for pastry this morning, this did not affect me personally. However, as I waited in line, I was grossed out as I watched the flies do what flies do all over the icing and sugar sprinkles.
Being the helpful person that I am, I told the young man who was about to take my order that there were a few flies having their way in the pastry case. His response: “Yes, there probably are and I'm not going to do anything about it right now.” Oh, really? In order to maintain a chipper mood for my mentor, I decided not to pursue that matter further. But it bugged me, and got me to thinking about the flies we all notice in our businesses from time to time. The flies are not the big issue. The big issue is how we respond to them.
I have many flies and potential flies in my business. A computer glitch that results in a delay in processing a new member application. A broken link confuses or frustrates my site visitors. A blog post is filled with typos.
These things happen, and people know that. People are reasonable. Unless there are bazillions of flies all the time, people don't usually judge us on the flies. What they judge us on is how we respond to the flies, especially the flies that directly affect their experience with our brand.
It's August in Washington, DC. There are flies everywhere, and I understand that. I was neither surprised nor aggravated when I saw flies hanging around in the Starbucks pastry display. What I was aggravated about was how the barista responded to the flies when I pointed them out.
It showed he didn't care.
And if he didn't care about flies on the donuts, I wonder if he cared about flies on the coffee beans.
Question: How do you let your customers know you care, really care? Do you considering doing so an opportunity or an inconvenience?