A few days ago my husband, in a bit of a rush, went to Chipotle for lunch. He ordered the same steak burrito he always gets, got to the cash register, reached for his wallet…and realized he’d forgotten it at home.
Feeling like an idiot, he held up his hands sheepishly and explained what had happened, backing away from the register to make room for the next, paying, customer. Prepared to return to work hungry, picturing his wallet sitting on the kitchen counter right where he’d left it, but with no time to go home and get it and come back for his burrito. He was resigned to a hungry afternoon, and had already accepted his fate.
Before he could go, though, the Chipotle cashier stopped him. “It’s fine!” she said, waving him back. “I’ve seen you in here before. We’re just going to have to throw it away anyway. Just take it.”
A little stunned he stepped back to the counter, hesitating. “Go ahead!” the cashier insisted. “Do you want a drink, too?”
He didn’t accept the free drink, but he did, gratefully, accept the burrito, and returned the next day to pay for it. She refused to accept his money, laughing him off and ringing up only that day’s lunch.
So what’s the point of this story?
That cashier had no obligation to GIVE my husband a free burrito. It was his own fault for rushing out of the house without his wallet, and he knew it, and was ready to leave without any complaints.
But she didn’t let him.
She did not allow a customer in her care to walk out unsatisfied, even though he was 100% responsible for his own dissatisfaction.
What have you done lately for a customer that you just really did not have to do? Do you allow your customers, every now and then, to suffer the consequences of their own actions, when you have the power to help? Even when there’s zero expectation, no obligation whatsoever?
Reach out today and brighten a customer’s day. Fix their mistake for them, with a smile and a wave of your hand. What’s it going to cost you? What’s the cost of a burrito compared to the goodwill you might generate, the repeat business you might secure? At worst, you’ll endear yourself to that customer for some time. At best…who knows, maybe they’ll blog about it. #Chipotle4Life
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