As an everyday consumer in the vast marketplace of goods and services, many of my experiences as an actual paying customer are perfect case studies for some of the very ideals I promote for businesses. How better to speak to a customer experience (good or bad) than by having a notable one personally? Here is one example of how a local quick service healthy restaurant made two small but meaningful gestures in my local area.
Almost a year ago, Muscle Maker Grill (MMG) opened their doors a few miles from our home. As a household who tries valiantly to eat healthy food but is at the mercy of our crazy schedules, it can be very difficult to maintain those standards. We decided to try the quick service restaurant and very quickly, MMG became our go-to for a couple of meals a week – they even deliver making it even more convenient for us.
Now, before this sounds like a paid testimonial, I’m not affiliated with MMG in any way and I haven’t been asked, encouraged or compensated for talking about their brand or my experience as a customer. I’m just telling my little story.
Go the Distance
I have no visibility into the MMG strategies or financials, but when they recently had to change their delivery routes – limiting the distance – I imagine it was due to either the expense or time (or both). The Omaha location has become very popular in our area and they are often crowded. I imagine having a resource out on the road may not be the most profitable use of their time and with pretty reasonable food prices, it may have been too pricey to maintain the volume that a wider area would mean in terms of orders.
We were informed of the new route being about a mile away from our address on a phone order and without missing a beat, the owner told me they’d happily continue delivering to our home since we were such frequent customers. Breaking the rules to support your customers is something I am a raving advocate, and MMG gave no thought to re-drawing the line when it came to our convenience; literally going the extra mile.
Know Thy Customer
Admittedly, we typically call in an order for delivery, so I’ve only been in the store a handful of times. But on a busy Friday afternoon I found myself out of a work meeting near the location and thought I’d swing in to grab lunch to go. When I walked in the door, the cashier, who also regularly worked as our delivery driver, shouted, “Carrie! Nice to see you in here today! How is your dog, Chase?”
She not only recognized me, but remembered my noisy pup who always greeted her at the door. While I doubt there is anything in the handbook about acknowledging a customer’s dog, she engaged me on a deeper level than just a person with an open wallet and an empty stomach. The small gestures add up. Engaging customers in the ways that they most value is how small gestures lead to big returns. So, I’ll keep forking over my dollars for the Mona Lisa wrap (without onions) once or twice a week as my personal thanks.