A pleasant surprise

Pret A Manger coffee cupA study by American express a few years ago reported that your typical consumer in the western world will tell an average of nine people about good customer experiences. That feels pretty reasonable to me. But I wonder what happens when you substitute the word ‘good’ for ‘wow’? I’m conducting my own personal study right now.

On my way to see new client Wembley Stadium the other day I was in need of my usual early morning caffeine fix and breezed into a Pret a Manger store at around 8.30 am, just opposite the great venue itself.

“Hi could I have a cappuccino please”
“Coming right up sir…..
(approx 60 seconds pass, giving me enough time to count out the exact money for my coffee)
….there you go sir. On the house”.
“Pardon?….You’re kidding me right?”
“It’s on the house sir. I liked the smile on your face when you came up and the way you asked politely, so this one’s on us”

“Wow.. are you sure (Carlos nods enthusiastically)…that doesn’t happen every day. Thank you Carlos”, I say, as my state of bewilderment gently eases into one of delight and I load my change back into my pocket. I hurry towards the door just in case Carlos changes his mind. Today feels like a good day.

I later find out – from round about the fifth person I relate this experience to –  that every member of the team in Pret a Manger can give away one hot drink a day, to the customer of their choosing. That is cool. And very clever.

I’m well into double figures now.

PS. Must remember to smile and be polite when I do the weekly shop…worth a go?

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