Monday, October 09, 2006

Customer Care(full)

There is this small Lebanese bakery near our office. Me and another colleague order the occasional breakfast from these guys whenever we crave for a Manakeesh (a Lebanese pie that more or less resembles a Pizza). Essentially my colleague calls up the baker and orders a Cheese Manakeesh or Zaatar (a mix of herb topping)

The shop I believe employs 3-4 guys to make stuff, take orders and deliver the stuff. Many from and around the Dubai Media City should be ordering their stuff from these guys as their produce is nice and tasty and their delivery system is effective in spite of their shortcomings in terms of manpower.

How do they care for their customers?

It was one of those days when we wanted a Manakeesh for breakfast. As usual my friend called these guys up. The following is the conversation between my friend and the guy who picked the call up.

Friend: Hello is it XXXX Bakery?

Baker: Yes sir, how may I help you (in a very Arabic accent)

F: I’m calling from Loft office 1-A in the Media City. Number 401

B: Oh, Mr XXX? How are you sir? It is long since you called, almost 3 weeks. I thought you were on a vacation. Is it the usual order sir? 2 Cheese Manakeesh, 1 Zaatar Manakeesh or can I suggest you Egg Cheese Manakeesh today?

We were flattered by the very personal conversation the baker had. He remembered the last time we ordered, what we usually order and he also suggested us something else that would suit our tastes.

Considering that this guy caters to the whole of Dubai Media City, which is a city by itself, it was amazing. There would at least be about 50 orders this guy must be fulfilling every day. Considering that 50% of his customers are loyal, he needs to remember 20 names, addresses and preferences. For a small shop manager in a considerably large neighborhood, this is quite a task and an achievement of sorts.

I’m sure his business would continue to grow leaps and bounds given this personalized, friendly attitude of the baker and his good delivery mechanism.

Me and my friend are one of this bakery's most loyal customers, for life.

Long live the Baker! Long live his Bakery!!

To sum up…

a) Personalization pays. But remember it is a double edged sword, so one needs to be careful while personalizing

b) Personalization is not simply putting a Mr. or Ms. before a name. It is remembering your customers preferences, needs, wants and most importantly what a customer doesn’t want.

c) It is not enough if you remember your customer by name, what is more important is to fulfill the reason he / she called

d) And last but not least, it is not enough if you just fulfilled what your customer wanted. It matters when you fulfilled, did you deliver on time? Was the stuff intact the way the customer wanted when you delivered?

No comments: