Friday, March 05, 2010

The Thin Green Line

If you want to know about delivering value to customers, look at how restaurants and sandwich shops dole out the guacamole.

Growing up we had an avocado tree in the back yard (a perk of growing up in Los Angeles). Slices of the green delicacy and piles of guacamole were a standard with most meals. I am a fan of the stuff. I want it served with all types of food. I can think of few food items that are not made better with this along side.

Nowadays, one would think you were buying gold when ordering a side of guac. Some restaurants and sandwich shops charge up to three dollars for what amounts to a smear of green on the bread or a dollop that can hardly be tasted with the food it accompanies. A thin green line of the good stuff does not make me happy, especially when I am paying big money.

I have decided you can tell a lot about a company's attitude toward the customer by their generosity with how they serve condiments containing avocado. Big scoop, love the customer... all about value. Small scoop, not so loving.

This translates to other products and services. Sure, you are not serving guacamole with an automobile tune up, legal services, or dry cleaning (although now that I think about it, maybe they should!), but what extras are you piling on the side to make the customer feel like they are more than the person on the other side of the invoice? When they pay for your services are you going beyond expectations, or simply delivering the minimum requirement?

Just fulfilling the terms of a contract is not a way to stand out from the crowd. By telling me the avocado is $2 extra does not mean that you are really delivering $2 of value simply because I agree to pay for it. You have to make sure that you are providing that value. A hit of green color on my plate does not mean I am pleased with the results!

Going a little bit further than your customer is accustomed to expect from a company is how you forge long term relationships. Cutting corners and just doing the minimum is what makes your clients try out your competition.

I have to commend Chipolte (the burrito chain). I ordered guacamole on my burrito this week and tasted avocado in every bite. I am still amazed at the heaping scoop I got. It makes me want to go back and have another burrito when lunch time rolls around today. Heck, I think I will.

Have A Great Day.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Don't forget Pappasito's, where they make the guac tableside and serve a huge amount. Well worth a visit!