Posted by: joannabrandi | March 22, 2011

We Don’t Scoop

I recently went out to breakfast with my friend Elaina. We decided on the Panera’s closest to our homes and I was looking forward to my favorite egg sandwich there.

I ordered first. “I’ll have the egg and cheese sandwich – no meat – on a scooped out toasted whole grain bagel and a coffee.”

“We don’t scoop.”

“Of course you scoop,” I said. “The last few times I ordered the exact same sandwich you scooped it – in fact, I remember how cleverly and carefully the young man scooped my last bagel – he used a spoon and not his finger!”

“We don’t scoop.”

“Well you have scooped before,” I offered.

“We never scooped.”

“Yes,” I stated, now with a little more irritation, “you have scooped in the past, perhaps you don’t scoop now but every time I have ever ordered an egg on a bagel sandwich here someone has been kind enough to scoop it out for me. ”

“We don’t scoop.”

At this point the young lady at the counter went over to her manager. “Do we scoop bagels?” she asked.

“Nope” was the reply.

“You see,  I told you we don’t scoop,” she said with a finality that I understood.

I took a deep breath remembering that being right (which I was) was less important that my pleasant demeanor and positive overall breakfast with a friend experience.

“Okay.” I said. “Perhaps you don’t scoop anymore. Let me buy the bagel, scoop it out and then you can toast it for me so I can have the sandwich the way I want it.

“Can’t do that – sanitary reasons.”

Yeccccccccccccccccccccccch!

What’s the lesson here?

Please don’t make your customer wrong (they could be right and anyway that doesn’t matter)

Deal with the customer’s emotion (a little I’m sorry and a little empathy go a long way)

Find a way to make the situation right for the customer – even if it means you need to make an exception.

And if your employee has been there for a shorter period of time than the customer has – believe the customer!

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