Customer Service in the Shape of a Burrito


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By Brian Olson – Sr. Product Marketing Manager, Jacada Inc.

In the spirit of full-disclosure, the folks around the office are sick and tired of me telling this story… which should be your first indication of the positive impact it had on me.

My lovely wife received her MBA a short time ago.   Before you get good and jealous – and trust me, you will – allow me to explain a little: it’s not what you are thinking.  

A Saturday ritual at our house is to pile into the family truckster and head to Chipotle for lunch.  For those unfamiliar with the brand, Chipotle is a self-proclaimed gourmet burrito and taco establishment.  Freshly prepared food, never refrigerated, never made in bulk.  Just love me some of that burrito goodness.  We’ve been going there for eight or so years, at least once a week (and sometimes more if you happen to be my wife).  The staff at “our” store knows her by sight and name, knows what she likes, doesn’t even have to ask.  Me?  I get a “where’s your wife today?” if I happen to stop in unannounced.  Bet they have a line item on their P&L statement just for us.  You get the picture.

So it wasn’t at all unusual when they asked first for her email address, then for our mailing address, during checkout one fine Saturday a few months ago.  Going to send her a little something, they said.  And a couple weeks later, a Fed-Ex package arrived at our door.

Her MBA had arrived.

Inside the package was a framed MBA certificate – Master Burrito Ambassador – along with a tee-shirt proclaiming the same and a scoop and a half of free burrito cards.  We were awestruck.  She spent the next several weeks deciding who to give the cards to.  She didn’t use them herself; quite the opposite – she dished them out one by one to friends, thereby turning herself from a MBA into a MBP: Master Burrito Philanthropist.  And me?  I just can’t stop telling the story.

What does this have to do with customer service?  I say everything.  An attentive staff on the front line who recognized a valued customer, a procedure to send that info up the chain of command, a fantastic little something to send to said customer which conveyed appreciation far more valuable than the minimal cost of sending it.  And in the end, you get a loyal customer out doing the marketing dance on your behalf.  It’s better than getting a side of guac without having to ask for it.

Let me challenge you with this:  What are you doing for your best customers?   What should you be doing for your best customers?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Richard Stern
Richard Stern is Senior Vice President, Global Marketing for Jacada. Richard brings to Jacada more than 15 years of experience in successfully leading global marketing and new business development initiatives. Most recently, Richard served as Senior Vice President, Growth Telecom for SpinVox, a leading global speech technology company that delivers voice-to-text services for telecommunications providers.


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