Thursday, August 24, 2006

Two Great Quotes

Oops, I've gone and slacked off this month! As such, this will probably be my only post for September (this was actually a draft I saved back in August, thus the date above, that was going to be more lengthy, but I'll save that for a top 10 list or something down the road). Actually, I haven't really slacked off too much because I've been following other blogs and conversations all over, and leaving my 2 or 3 cents here and there. I know, no excuses... Anyhow, I thought for a quick post I'd share a pair of quotes that stood out to me in the last couple of weeks .

These quotes both apply to sales, more specifically when trying to understand the needs of the customer, and the first one also applies to marketing in general, where we should try harder to hear the customers than to pitch the products. Without further ado:

"We have two ears and one tongue so that we would listen more and talk less."
- Diogenes, Greek philosopher

"Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers."
- Voltaire, French philosopher

I bid you a (hopefully short) farewell until my next post. Cross your fingers that I attempt one in October!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Panera Knows Customer Service

Ok, this post was a must. If not to give Panera Bread credit where deserved, then to demonstrate customer service at its finest.

I'm currently sitting in Panera Bread in Greensboro, NC, waiting for a colleague of mine. When I first arrived, I sat at a table near the order counter for about 15-20 minutes, checking email and such. The manager, or at least someone who seemed capable of the title, looked over the counter and said, "Are you Daniel Monday?" Well, I am. So I said, "yes." He tells me that the person I'm supposed to be meeting will be about 20 minutes late. Awesome, it was if I was at a hotel, getting personal messages from the staff.

That's not the best part. He asks me if I would like anything while I wait, which is great customer service in itself. However, when I asked for a caramel latte, I didn't have to get up and get in the long line that was beginning to form, nor did I have to pay! A young lady brought the coffee out to me at my table, and when I asked if she wanted money, she said, "Don't worry about it." Well, being the person I am, I attempted to pay a couple more times, only to be met with the same answer. Talk about royal treatment. No, they didn't do it for everyone, but they didn't have to. They knew I'd have a long wait and catered to me at that moment. That's great customer service, and great customer relationship management, which is sometimes better done through simple human action than with databases.

I will definitely be back to this Panera.