This morning I treated myself to a bagel with lox from one of my favorite places in town. When I got to work an unwrapped my breakfast, the bagel was toasted. Now this may seem like a small thing, but I happen to hate hard bread. Not to mention that now the cream cheese, lox and tomato squirm all over with each bite and make a complete mess.
The establishment likely does not have any idea how much this toasted bagel messed up my breakfast. It's not like getting my order wrong or giving me sub-quality food. But to me, that's exactly what it was.
So I started to wonder how many of these "minor" inconveniences we impose unknowingly on our customers every day? For instance, have you ever been in a hurry and waiting in line only to feel there is no sense of urgency on the part of the associate? Or perhaps the person helping you has a rotten personality?
If we have not contemplated what we want our customer's ideal experience to be, we are often oblivious to the experience we are actually delivering. And even if we have meticulously mapped out the ideal experience, but failed to train our associate to master the delivery, we still fail miserably.
Remember that your brand is whatever your customer says it is. What are you doing to make sure you take every opportunity to influence their perception positively?