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How to Make Your Customer’s First and Every Brand Experience Amazing

By: Elaine Fogel


Every once in a while, I have a dynamite first brand experience as a consumer. And, it makes me think just how easy it is for any business or nonprofit to replicate. And, it doesn’t cost a dime!

Case in point: Dutch Bros. Coffee. Maybe you’ve never heard of this company; it has 200 company and franchised locations in only seven U.S. states: Oregon, California, Washington, Idaho, Nevada, Colorado and Arizona. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if one day, it will be as ubiquitous as Starbucks. The reason? They made my brand experience amazing!
I had seen one of this company’s drive-throughs, but never stopped until last week. I was heading downtown for a meeting, so I stopped after getting gas at a nearby Costco.
There were three employees inside the location, which is basically a small building-like hut. All three greeted me with smiles and a hearty welcome when I pulled up.
They engaged me in friendly conversation, and when they heard that it was my first visit, well, the red carpet turned to ruby! The window employee asked me my name and told me hers. She gave me advice on the type of coffee they had that met my taste preference.
When I told her that I liked my soya milk to coffee ratio 2:1, she said I’d really like their soya latte. The cost just jumped from $2.60 to $4.25 and I didn’t flinch a bit.
When I reached for a package of stevia, she said I could save it. They had Stevia there all the time! Wow, I haven’t seen stevia sweetener in any other chain coffee shop.
She told me about the company’s loyalty card program, and I almost declined it saying that I work from a home office and wouldn’t be stopping by that frequently. But, that wasn’t a problem. She said I could come by any time and handed me a new card with all but one box left to fill out. She was empowered to make me feel like she really wanted me to return.
Now, I ask you: what did that take?
A powerfully positive attitude, exceptional customer service and orientation, and employee empowerment to make customers’ experiences amazing. And, what does that cost? Nothing, after you invest in developing a solid organizational culture and staff training, which any organization likely does anyway.
And, that’s why Dutch Bros. Coffee was ranked by J.D. Power and Associates as highest in customer satisfaction compared to other coffee companies in its 2012 Specialty Coffee Retailer Satisfaction Report(SM).
Here’s the company’s “Dutch Creed:”
“Here at Dutch Bros., we’re all about being positive and lovin’ life. That’s why when we came across the Optimist’s Creed, we decided to adopt it as our own and call it the Dutch Creed. We strive to pass the good vibes on to our employees and customers through leadership within our company, and customer service. Check it out; it just might change your state-of-mind:
  • To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
  • To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.
  • To make all your friends feel there is something in them.
  • To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.
  • To think only the best, to work only for the best and expect only the best.
  • To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
  • To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
  • To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.
  • To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
  • To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.”
So, now, it’s up to your company or nonprofit. What can it do to make its customers’ first and every brand experience amazing? Got any other ideas?
This article was originally published by Elaine Fogel
Published: January 15, 2014

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