A Tale of Two Subways
Customer Service, as we all know, is extremely important. After all, without customers there is no product/service.
I was at the mall the other day and, after a long day of shopping, I decided it was time to eat. For one reason or another, I was craving Subway.
So, as I left the mall, I headed to a Subway that’s on the route I take home. As I pulled into the parking lot, I prepared myself to deal with unsatisfactory customer service.
Yes, that’s right. I had to prepare myself to enter this establishment.
It’s nothing against Subway. In fact, I love Subway! The subs, the lay-out, the in-and-out convenience. When I’m on the go, Subway is my lunch of choice.
But you see, this isn’t the first time I had been to this location. I had been here over a dozen times previously. Each time I entered, there was always something that irked me. Something that aggravated me and told me not to come back.
But, with the background I have in customer service and the food industry, I kept telling myself it was a one-off, a mistake, someone had a lapse on how to do things or they had a bad day.
In the previous times I had been there, something had always happened:
1. I don’t want mayonnaise on my sub.
I like a foot-long meatball. I don’t want any extra sauces on it.
The problem is, on more than one occasion, the knife used to cut my sub does not get wiped off. Whatever was on the previous sub that was made and cut, goes into the cut of my sub. No bueno.
To be honest, if it had been wiped off, it was never done properly. They would simply skim the blade against the metal rail of the counter. There are so many unsanitary properties of that action that it starts to kill my appetite.
2. Boxes of Gloves.
At subway, they have boxes of gloves. For sanitary purposes.
When an employee either forgets to put them on when they grab the bread for my sandwich or removes their gloves before they cut it, once again, I ask myself why I come here.
3. Why I won’t Re-enter this Subway.
The last time I entered, I had to wait in line. Guess what? We all do. That’s not the problem.
The problem is this. There was one person in front of me being helped. There were two other employees, besides the one helping the customer in front of me, who were doing absolutely nothing! One was standing at the register, simply waiting for the sub to be done, which was barely even started. The other employee was in the back and, from my viewing angle, was playing on their phone.
The sad part is, each time I had been there, it was rarely the same employees. I felt I got myself an overview of how the entire establishment was ran.
That’s it! I’m done! I walked out and jumped in my car. I pulled up Google Maps and typed in Subway. Turns out, there was another one a couple of miles out of my way, that I used to go to a few years back and had completely forgotten about. So off I drove.
As I pulled into the parking lot and looked at the door, I noticed the sign “Help Wanted.” I figured, “Oh boy. This’ll be interesting. They’re probably short-handed.” Undeterred, I parked the car and proceeded into the restaurant.
As soon as I walked in, I saw there was a customer in front of me, again. I was actually happy to see this. I wanted to see how this Subway would compare to the previous one.
As I stood at the counter, ready to order, an employee appeared from the back. I thought, awesome, I didn’t even think he saw me come in. He proceeded to wash his hands and put on gloves.
So far, so good. Prompt and sanitary service. Awesome!
He took my order, asked me how I wanted everything, instead of waiting for me to instruct him, and promptly put it together. +2 for this establishment.
Then he reached for the knife. Before he cut it, he took a look at it. He realized there was some residue from the previous cut and, immediately, grabbed for a napkin and wiped it clean! I can’t tell you how elated I was from this simple task.
Then, since it was a quick order, he rang me up ahead of the previous customer because her sub was still being made.
I took my order and left with a smile.
I will definitely be returning to this Subway. It’s a few miles out of my way, but it’s hard to put a price on peace of mind.
It’s the little things that matter. Whenever you come into contact with a potential customer, whether it’s in front of a retail counter or visitor on your blog, do the little things.
For bloggers, if someone comments, comment back.
For internet marketers, same thing. If you sell a product and a customer has issues, fix it. At least communicate!
With the reputation of the internet being full of scammers, spammers, and unscrupulous virtual salesman only trying to squeeze your hard earned dollar out of you, it’s important to do the little things.
No matter what your industry is, you have to show that you really do have your customers’ best interest at heart.
In my simple example, there were two Subways within five miles of each other. On the internet, there’s millions of other marketers at your fingertips!
ust remember: Without customers, your business does not exist!
Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
Wishing you Great Success!