Handling A Mistake: Chevy’s Versus Jilly’s Cupcakes

I think in healthcare we are finally all realizing that the customer experience matters (#CEM).  The question is how to standardize and optimize that experience in scale and on a personal level when the people delivering that experience are call center agents, receptionists, physicians, pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, etc.  It’s the people in the field not those sitting in the corner office.

And, since exchanges will make healthcare a more individual buying experience and satisfaction is tied to loyalty, this is something we all need to figure out sooner rather than later.

As a family, we recently had a few experiences that show the two extremes here:

  1. Chevy’s.  This is a Mexican restaurant we frequent.  We go there probably once a week to the point where we have a preferred waiter (who knows our order before we sit down) and know the server and the manager.  Service has been great for years, but it’s begun to go down.  One night, it took 3x as long to get our food with no explanation, and we had to leave without eating.  The next time, the hot plate of food had some oil jump off and burn my wife (to the point of them getting her burn spray and ice).

    This seems like a great opportunity for an intervention by the manager.  But no.  They didn’t do anything.  They still charged us for the meal including my wife who’s leaving with an ice bag.  Oh well…time to find a new restaurant.

  2.  Jilly’s Cupcakes.  Here’s a cupcake store and restaurant that we’ve never been to, but we saw that they recently won on Cupcake Wars.  We decided to book a small birthday party there to decorate custom cupcakes.  When we show up, they are surprised.  Apparently, their reservations person wasn’t very good and got fired so they’re dealing with us and another party of 25 that have showed up unexpectedly.  A key opportunity for success or failure.

    I thought the General Manager did great.  She stepped right up and came up with a plan for us.  We got to go behind the scenes and meet the cupcake making team.  We got to customize our own cupcakes and really enjoyed it.  It was probably more memorable that the original party would have been.  In this case, I’m willing to drive people to her store and will send her a personal note to thank her.

One of the big points here is that it’s easy to either lose a lot of credibility or build up some credibility.  But, customers are fickle.  Much like companies strive for Six Sigma from a process perspective we need to keep that in mind from a customer experience perspective.  It won’t always go perfect, but how do you enable your staff and train them to respond quickly to keep the consumer happy and engaged.

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