I popped out to get my lunch from Subway today. I like the freshness of the food and the taste of the bread, but I try not to do it too often as I could eat a footlong Sub every day and my diet would go to the dogs. Anyway, while I was there I saw an amazing example of an organisation going out of their way to bend to their customer’s whim.
Here’s what happened: The girl in front of me asked for a “Veggie Patty” Sub. The person behind the counter inquired if she was vegetarian and when the girl confirmed she was, he help up his hands and asked her if should would like him to change his gloves. She said yes and he proceeded to throw away the gloves he was wearing and put on a fresh pair. He also made it a point to ensure that anyone else who handled the sandwich did the same.
Now, you might argue that it wouldn’t really make much of a difference whether the same gloves were used or not. After all, it’s not really like a nut allergy, where a slight trace can have huge consequences. However, the policy Subway have implemented is more about ensuring a customer is happy with the way they are treated, than whether there really were any traces of meat on the gloves. It’s all about providing extra intangible value through optimising the customer’s experience.
The sad thing about today’s story: Even though I was impressed, the girl who got the special treatment didn’t even bother to thank the staff for the extra effort.