When you take unacceptable risk, you have to be prepared to face the consequence. – Carly Fiorina, past CEO of Hewlett Packard, presidential candidate 2016.
Being ready isn’t enough; you have to be prepared for a promotion or any other significant change – Pat Riley, Hall of Fame basketball coach, named one of the 10 Greatest Coaches in the NBA history.
Hope is an expensive commodity. It makes better sense to be prepared. – Thucydides, 5th century Greek historian.
Why do I start this article off with these quotes? To show the importance of preparation and how it doesn’t matter what industry or place in time you are in;Preparation is a required constant. Click To Tweet
I stopped by my local bagel store last weekend and wasn’t expecting to see there was already a line of patrons inside. They looked as hungry as I was. But something wasn’t right. The line didn’t move, there was a constant murmur from the people and the workers seemed stressed.
What’s going on?
Then I saw why…there were no bagels!
Let me clarify, there were bagels but only the kind that are the slow sellers; onion, garlic, whole wheat and egg. What gives?
No wonder the customers weren’t too happy.
How can a business that sells a limited number of products run out of their main sellers?
So, I did what most of the store’s customers did this day, leave and find another bagel store.
As I got in my car I noticed most of the patrons seemed to have the same idea as me; there was a sea of hungry people sprinting towards their cars.
It looked like a scene from a zombie movie; half-asleep folks with bed head all looking for something to eat…Repeat business is measured by the customer experience and satisfaction of the product. Click To Tweet
There was no satisfaction today and the experience was terrible.
1. Do you under-staff during the anticipated slow times?
- What happens if you get that unexpected rush of patrons?
- If you get busy, can you still provide the same level of service with employees that don’t feel over worked or burdened?
- Will your customers feel the stress levels rise in your employees? Does it show on their faces?
2. Towards the end of the month, do you order fewer products and wait until the 1st to order again so the costs hit next month’s budget?
- If you do, what happens to the customers that want to buy today and your shelves are barren?
- Empty shelves mean empty shopping carts!
3. Will you dismiss today’s unsatisfied product-starved customers and assume they will return tomorrow?
- Why should your customers return in the hopes you will get your act together next time? Is it worth their risk, time and travel needed? Plus, you know what they say about “assume”…
- “That’s ok, your customers will understand…”, but WILL they?
As I drove toward the nearest bagel store I wondered how many of those same customers I might meet in the next location. Were they willing to take the ride like I was? Did an early morning bagel mean that much to them? Or was I over analyzing things as I usually do?
My answer came quick. A parking lot full of cars, smiling patrons leaving the store, full bags in hand, and a lineup of people inside confirmed my belief:Never assume you are smarter than your customers. Click To Tweet When you “hang your shingle out” hoping for business you better be prepared. If they come, be ready to do all you can to provide and surpass THEIR expectations, not your own.
Don’t be like the bagel store that forgot their “bread and butter”.
P.S. The bagels in the new store were GREAT…guess they have a new repeat customer, ME!
Image courtesy of hercampus.com/life/campus-life/15-things-happen-when-new-jersey-girls-go-away-college