Posted by: Chris | June 9, 2007

A Real Life Example

I love Cold Stone Creamery. But it’s not just the delicious ice cream that keeps me paying over $4 per small “Creation” almost once a week. It is the combination of a high quality product with a staff of employees who live the company’s brand. My wife, my best friend, and I made our near-weekly visit to the Creamery this evening. In the middle of our experience, (a word I use very intentionally here), I leaned over to my wife and said, “I have to blog about this.” Below is an outline of the events of our visit.

  1. Upon entering the shop, we were greeted immediately (and happily).
  2. The line started getting long because the workers had to “re-ice the stone.” As we waited, workers passed out samples of ice cream cake to and chatted casually and comfortably with waiting patrons.
  3. Employees who were icing the stone were also having conversations with the waiting patrons.
  4. Once the stone was iced, employees had conversations with customers about ice cream selections, new offerings, etc.
  5. At the cash register, employees asked customers open-ended questions about their day and responded sincerely and cheerfully.

Now, I’ll admit, the passing out of samples is simply an aspect of good service as opposed to branded service (although I’ve seen many other restaurants fall short even on this simple gesture). But you’ll notice one thing common to all 5 points above: employees (who probably earn little more than minimum wage) had meaningful exchanges with ther customers. And while I know that this sort of behavior is mandated to some extent, the genuineness of the willing conversation and the consistency of employee behavior comes as a result of empowered employees who believe in the company’s mission-and the entire package is what makes the Cold Stone brand what it is.

 And by the way, the new French Toast Extravaganza is awesome!

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