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.



At Friday, September 22, 2006 11:47:00 AM, Anonymous Ann Handley said...

Panera does customer service better for you, and it offers free wi-fi to boot. What's not to love? Now if I could only get Starbucks to deliver there....

: )

At Friday, September 22, 2006 2:53:00 PM, Blogger Daniel Monday said...

Exactly! I'm surprised Starbucks isn't showing you the love you deserve; what, are they slipping? It's funny you mention Starbucks because I just went back and read the MarketingProfs article by John Moore about brand debits and brand credits, which Starbucks uses in their marketing department. Perhaps they should make a brand credit just for you.

At Friday, September 29, 2006 11:39:00 AM, Blogger Ed Kohler said...

Yep, great food for the price and free WiFi keep me coming back. I've found it good enough to write about too.

At Friday, September 29, 2006 12:06:00 PM, Blogger Daniel Monday said...

Looks like the blogosphere is filled with Paneravangelists! I wonder if they will ever decide to go head-to-head with Starbucks.

At Friday, September 29, 2006 3:50:00 PM, Blogger Jennifer Gaglione said...

I feel like I'm in Panera-mecca-- Viva Panera!

At Friday, September 29, 2006 4:26:00 PM, Blogger Daniel Monday said...

Haha, I feel the same way. And the funny thing is, I haven't seen the word "bread" appear in any of the posts or comments I've read or made myself thus far. That tells you that they deliver way beyond the expectations of the underlying brand idea. Right on Panera!


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