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Like Insurance for Chocolate February 16, 2010

Posted by bernardrosauer in Customer, Human Capital, Process, Uncategorized.
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I remember when I was a kid that giving someone Godiva chocolate was serious business.  It was the stuff you either got your mom or the woman you were going to marry. 

This Valentines day I went to our local Godiva store in the mall by our house.  The store was clean, bright and welcoming.  Someone was dipping strawberries and other fruit in chocolate in the front of the store and there was a short line of people waiting to be served.   ‘No problem’ I thought and tought I would take a look around.  Thats where the customer experience began to tank.

As I waited in line I sensed tension in the air.  It was between the fruit dipper, whom I believe was running the show, and the cashier, who wasn’t.  I sensed the tight reigns the manager had on the employee as the employee tried to up-sell every customer at every possible moment. 

At one point the cashier had to go ask the manager a question….she walked to the front of the store, asked the question, came back, and on her way back to help the customer with whom she was working at the register, stopped to ask me if I needed any help finding anything more. I was clearly in line waiting to be rung up and can only imagine what the person in front of me, who was actually being rung up at the time, was thinking.   This was up-sell city!

To me, it seemed as though the employee was on automatic.  She wasnt thinking of customer needs.  She was thinking of employer requirements.  Stupid rules put in place for maybe the right reason, but executed independent of the customer.  Once again, an employee feels she/he is working for a boss, not a customer.  

I took my back of chocolate hearts and went home.

The week prior to the Godiva experience I attended our Net Promoter Conference in New York.  It occurred to me that what I represent – using NPS in insurance, helps employees, managers and entire companies see who they work for – customers.   Every decision, every process, every instruction, every ounce of leadership should be in alignment with what customers want.   At this store, at least for the moment, Godiva got away from that. 

 Suppose, however, that it wasnt just this store.  What if the entire chocolatiers culture lacked alignment with customer needs and requirements?   How was the sale of a few extra chocolates hurting the likelihood of customers returning next year on an organization-wide scale?   Wow.

On a better note,  I also attended an insurance conference hosted by a property replacement company called enservio www.enservio.com this past week.   What a great event.  It was held at the Ritz Carlton in Dove Mountain AZ.  RC truly gets it. 

When I arrived at the hotel I was in a rush to change because I was the next speaker to be on stage and had only 15 minutes.  I quickly changed out of my comfortable travel clothes, put on a suit and tie, combed my hair and split. 

When I returned to my room, all of my clothes were neatly folded and my luggage was placed in my closet, on the stand, with the contents that I strew about the room in haste neatly placed on top.  My shoes were placed in the shoe locker and my utility bag was in the bathroom next to the sink.   What a great experience… and their chocolates weren’t bad either.

Go Ritz, Go enservio, Go Customer, Go NPS!

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