Through the eyes of your craft customers

19 November, 2010
Jonathan Winchester, MD of mystery shopping and customer service specialist Shopper Anonymous, asks when was the last time you were a customer in your own bakery?
Page 18 

Imagine your team coming in to work in the morning. They park behind the shop, open up the back door, fill the shelves, have a general clean-up and then unlock the door for business. They then return behind the counter and start serving. Is this good practice?

What if they took an extra seven minutes to review the customer journey? All too often we run our businesses not through our customers' eyes but through our team members' eyes, thus seeing everything from the inside-out rather than from the outside-in.

My suggestion is a seven-minute daily process that ensures the customer experience is greatly improved. After the staff member has set up the shop, ask them to walk out of the front door and 30 yards down the street and then pretend they are a customer. Ask them to approach the store and jot down on a piece of paper three things that are good about the outside of the store and three things that need improving. For example, the windows may be clean, but the pavement littered. The opening times are clear, but a light bulb is missing from the fascia.

Then ask them to stand outside the business and look through the windows and, again, note down three things that are good and three that need improving. The window display may be creative, but dusty, giving the impression that this fresh bakery may not be quite so fresh after all.

Finally, ask them to enter the shop, sit down at one of the customer tables or stand at the counter. What do they see? What do they smell? How do they feel? Having gone through this exercise, they should have a list of the good things about the business and a list of the simple changes that can be made to greatly enhance the customer experience.

When I coach and train staff in the food industry, it's always staggering how excited teams become when they take a good look through their customers' eyes not necessarily because of the number of improvements required, but simply because they've never done it before.

Back in 1985, when I was a trainee manager at Harrods, this was our daily routine. Great businesses appreciate the importance of looking through their customers' eyes do you?





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