I want more customers like me


I want a customer like me. I have two examples, and I’ll look at the customer service survey I filled out, over an over, for my friends at the one store.

Sure, it’s a megalithic corporation with Seattle headquarters, and sure, they sell more milk than coffee, and sure, they branch out, and sure, what the brand sells is more about a “coffee shop experience,” that is ubiquitous across the nation, even across the world, but there is a sense that the local places are, at times, just local.

The staff at the one store, in the summer, I’ve wandered in, and one employee waves hello, and then she starts mixing me an iced double-shot of espresso. Only that day, I wanted a large ice tea. She hands me both, shrugs and smiles.

Flashing hard, white teeth against tan-colored Latin skin, dark eyes and long lashes fluttering briefly. Then?

“I can help the next person in line.”

Odd mornings, I’ve been handed a stack of “customer survey” receipts. Used to be, spend the few minutes to fill out the survey, and the code was worth a free drink. Save up the double espresso drinks for seven-shot, double flavor sugar bomb thing for the long ride to Austin.

The store — and staff — are gauged and rated on those customer surveys. I streamlined my way of processing the survey by doing it in French. Have to make this interesting for me, too. The store gets credit for a max score, and I like the people at that store. I consistently give a highest score, which, in turn, is why I got the handful of receipts.

Now, the survey receipt is only worth a dollar off the next drink order. In late December, every dollar helps and that’s one more dollar for the tip jar.

What interested me most was the unflagging loyalty I had to that one store, and by extension, to that one brand.

It’s less of a good deal, and I try to make sure I fill in the surveys from different machines — I’m sure some guy tracks IP addresses. Still, I like the people at the one store. I’ll do what I can to help them.

Friend of mine, her child worked in one of the stores. I found out that the number one name gets a hundred dollar bonus each month. Nice to know that they get paid.

In El Paso, last time, I pulled two of the customer survey receipts out, and I used that at a drive-thru. The ‘barista’ (cashier despite the fancy label) handed me two more to fill out. I do like that one store in El Paso as I killed an evening there one time. Interesting.

I want customers just like me. Eccentric local customs, with fierce loyalty.

It’s important. For me, it’s the people. I want more customers just like me, fiercely loyal.

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  • Sarah Smith Jan 1, 2013 @ 14:33

    Well, you got the loyalty. How many years is it now since I’ve been reading your scopes and your blog? A bunch. Don’t know about the fierce or eccentric part; see myself as stubborn, rather, marching to a different drummer. All in the definition, I suppose.

    Absolutely LOVE the idea of filling out the customer survey in French. Yeah. Next time. Oui, monsieur. C’est l’idee veritable!

  • Kramer Wetzel Jan 1, 2013 @ 17:07

    All in the definition. You’ll also note, you’re listed as having editorial privileges, so you can edit your comments now.


  • Sarah Smith Jan 1, 2013 @ 19:21

    Are you calling me “rank”, sirrah? I’ll have you know, I bathe at least once a year, whether I need it or not. Hmpfh! Thanks for the edit privileges. First draft always needs a bit of tweaking, even when commenting.

  • Kramer Wetzel Jan 2, 2013 @ 9:43

    Because “hierarchy” lacks cachet?