The last few weeks I have had my good share of disappointments with how many companies handle the customer experience locally.
Having worked in the service industry while in college and handling every other job with the same commitment towards serving clients, makes it hard for me to understand how companies don’t make customer experience a priority.
I love Ice Cream
One of the reasons I have not gone Vegan is my love for Ice Cream. Recently I have been trying to stay away from Ice Cream.
After watching the movie Forks Over Knives and seeing how much dairy products affect your body I have cut down my intake with dairy products. I have attempted to shift from Vegetarian to Vegan but it has not been an easy task.
Cold Stone Helping me Stay away from Ice Cream
I have Lucy who constantly reminds me to eat healthier. But the key contributor from keeping me away from eating Ice Cream is the Local Cold Stone Franchise.
I have a Cold Stone steps away from my house and every time I visit it I feel guilty of paying for overpriced ice cream since they are nowhere near what the customer experience should be at a Cold Stone.
Before I moved back to Puerto Rico I became a loyal customer of Cold Stone I remember visiting my first cold stone in Boston in Fall 2005. I was amazed by the service and whole customer service experience that Cold Stone offered. I also asked myself what a better place to have a Cold Stone than in Sunny and Tropical Puerto Rico. Months later on a visit to Puerto Rico I saw they where establishing a few locations.
Just a Cold Stone
Locally when you enter a Cold Stone for the most part you get an experience of an employee throwing your ice cream against the stone in a variety of moods which normally is more on the negative side than the positive side. Even when they treat you well if you put a tip in the jar there is nothing magical that happens.
The only difference in walking to a Cold Stone and walking to Baskin Robbins is pretty much the Stone where they mash your Ice Cream request.
Does Cold Stone Clean or Serve Ice Cream?
We all sometimes deviate from focusing on what keeps our business running and for the most part that is returning customers and sales. My local cold stone is more focused on cleaning that taking care of the customers.
In multiple occasions I have walked in and a good line has formed while one employee serves ice cream and the others clean and keep the employee serving occupied with a conversation that has nothing to do with work.
Not only do we get one person taking care of serving the ice cream but also they are more interested in continuing their conversation with co-workers.
If they sell more ice cream then they might be able to have more employees taking care of the income making part of the business and on breaks they can have also the place spotless clean.
Impacts Sales and Income
People generally don’t like to wait in line. I have missed out on buying from Cold Stone in the past because of the large line and slow service. This eventually adds up and affects the overall sales over any period of time.
Enhancing the customer experience is a must. If Cold Stone employees locally made it pleasant to go visit them other than when you have craving for Ice Cream then they could increase the frequency of times your customers came into buy ice cream.
If the place is spotless clean and has not sold enough it eventually will go out of business. I understand the place needs to be extremely clean but if you took care of customers first and made other tasks secondary I can guarantee your business will do quite well.
Overall I hope they get the message. I used the example of Cold Stone Puerto Rico franchises because they are pretty consistent in not taking care of clients but there are many other businesses that leave sales and customer experience out of their priorities.
Next time you walk into a place and see that they are more focused on handling other administrative tasks than taking care of you as a customer ask yourself if it is worth spending a dollar at that place.
Have you run into any similar experiences?