When I was walking today I passed by Telepizza. I thought of get it by delivery but I was so close that I decided it was more efficient to order from the store and take away.
I was wrong.
First it was not clear where to order. Then I finally read a notice in front of a table with a remote control, it said "click and wait". So I clicked and waited and nobody arrived! I made a signal to the employees inside but no one noticed! I felt invisible.
I was going away but decided to give them a last shot. I called them. (Yes, the pizzolinos are that good.)
So when I was ordering by phone, they noticed that I was in front of the store and didn't let me finish my order. I had already said what I wanted, a single box of pizzolinos, but they wanted to make a point and finish in person.
I had to wait, put my mask, and be aware of when someone arrives. A lot of work for an order that I already did. Between ordering and paying there were at least 3 in person contacts: Order, pay and deliver.
This is very normal business. But is not good business. They almost lost their sale. I left Telepizza with a bad experience. Their brand lost value to me. And I will consider alternatives in the future.
They took too much steps and too much time. Order and pay should had come together. They didn't notice that there was a client in the store. Their remote control didn't work. They made it harder to do business with them.
One could argue that were small things. But the way you do small things is the way you do all things.
I understand doing mistakes is normal. But how you deal with them shows your character. They could have shown they cared about me and that they want my business. But no. They didn't care.
They are not focused on the customer.
If they were, they would never let me leave with a bad experience. They would try to make it up. This would be an opportunity to flip the interaction from negative to positive. It could even get our relationship stronger.
How they could made it positive?
First, they could have acknowledged their service wasn't good. Then they could offer me the pizzolinos or at a least drink to show they mean it.
It would have been a 2€ investment in a customer. That 2€ would earn trust. You can't earn trust with ads. I would probably forget all the bad things that happen with their service and focus on the positive outcome they ended up.
This might be the best marketing.
That's where I think Amazon and their customer centric approach shines. They understand the value of the customer. And how making their life easier leads to more sales. Every time they make returns easy, they aren't losing money, they are investing in the customer. They make it easy to do business with them. So easy that whenever I want to buy something they come first to my mind.
To be the first to come to mind is what every company should aim for.
A customer is too valuable to lose. A happy customer remembers a brand. A happy customer talks to their friends and family. A happy customer brings more business.
Every company that wants to succeed in the long-term must be customer focused.