Efficiency Vs. The Experience & Increased Profits

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When evaluating the overall experience you provide to your clients, there is a fine line between the efficiency and speed at which you deliver your products and services vs. the overall interaction you provide. More interaction could lead to a better overall client experience as well as vastly increased profits!

Case Study: Lunch at Chipotle
I am always amazed at the speed at which the line at Chipotle moves. Like McDonalds, they have a simplified product offering (limited menu and options) and one of the most efficient service models in the restaurant industry.

From the time your order is placed, you move quickly and efficiently through an assembly line where different options are provided (type of beans, type of salsa, cheese, sour cream, etc…) it is fast paced and you generally can be in and out in a matter of minutes.

During a recent visit, something odd happened to me. I was going to change up my normal order of a chicken burrito in a bowl to include guacamole and lettuce. I walked down the line, asked for less rice, chose the bean and the two types of salsa, cheese and then when I got to the guacamole and lettuce… “Bam,” the lid went on and I was getting rung up.

Due to the fast pace, I just kept moving. However, I did glance back at the guacamole one last time, wondering if I should stop the line, and asking myself, “Do I really needed that?” I decided to just proceed. However, as I was eating my meal, which is always more than enough and great, I kept thinking about the guacamole.

Here is the thing. For the sake of maybe two seconds, someone could have said, “Would you like guacamole or lettuce?” Who knows, maybe they are even supposed to. But it got me thinking about the overall experience offered by most businesses. Is it possible to forget about what you believe (know) the customer wants and take the two seconds to ask them what they would like to have? This could have a huge impact on your overall client experience as well as your bottom line.

Going back to Chipotle, last year they had about 830 stores. Let’s say that they have 1,000 customers a day and one-third of these customers would say “Yes” to guacamole, which is an extra $1.80, if asked. This would be an extra $497,995 a day in additional sales. Chipotle is doing fine with over $1.3 billion in sales in 2008, but could thinking about this help your business?

Action Items

1. Think about how you provide your products or services to your customers
2. Are you making assumptions on their behalf that would rather be asked about?
3. Are there any opportunities where you could take two seconds (or longer) to ask them a few quick questions which would improve their overall experience with you?
4. Would this create a better overall customer experience and possibly additional revenue?

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