Do I get a FREE Drink? NO– NO FREE DRINK!
A friend and I decided to have pizza for lunch the other day. We walked over to the pizza place and the clerk said that there were 13 pizza’s ahead of ours, however, we could order, wait and then take it out– our original plan. I asked if we got a free drink for waiting? The answer was a loud and emphatic NO– NO free drink!
OK, no free drink– we did order the pizza, waited for the other 13 pizza’s to be made and cooked and finally, after 35 minutes, received our pizza. We took it back to the place where we were staying and had lunch!
Now, as we analyzed our pizza encounter, several key points came to the surface! A soda fountain drink costs all of about 7 cents wholesale. The key price is the cup, the syrup is about 2 cents a serving and the ice cubes, 1 cent! For 7 cents, this pizza place could have had a great reputation for a 35 minute inconvenience! What was interesting, at least to my friend and I was the fact that we really did not care what size the drink cup was–it could have been a kiddie cup, for all we cared. The key point is that the pizza place recognized our inconvenience and tried to make a simple amend.
What was even more interesting was the fact that we had to have something to drink with our pizza. A little forethought on the part of the clerk would have revealed that we probably would have paid $2 each for drinks, $4 total (2 drinks @$2/ea). What happened was that we did not buy any drinks at the pizza place, ended up going and buying ice tea at a coffee shop and saved $2 dollars.
The key point here is that when a customer is inconvenienced, try and make a simple amend. The amend is usually very inexpensive, however, the client value is normally priceless. It makes no difference what the customer challenge is, everyone, including me, likes to “perceive” getting something for free!!!!! After all, we are all human beings!
Now, will I go back to the pizza place? Yes, I will. The pizza is great, outstanding, in fact. However, this is a customer retention trait that staff fell flat on– and the incremental cost of providing a drink would have been minimal in the overall scheme of the operation. Think like the client, what would you want? Just do that– whatever action you choose will turn out to be right!