How much is a customer worth?

It's only money

How much is a loyal customer worth?

The following is a true story.

A dear friend of mine was having a luncheon at her apartment after a funeral.  She ran into a local family owned grocery store to pick up a few items, and to her dismay when she got home realized that she had handed the cashier $100 bill and had forgotten to get her change. (the change was approx $74.00)

She immediately drove back, went to the cashier and told her what happened and  the cashier said there was nothing she could do.  She ask my friend if she could prove she left without the change?  The cashier said if her drawer was over at the end of the day they would call her.

No one called her.

She finally called the store and they told her the drawer was just fine.

I encouraged her to ask for a meeting with the owner and explain the situation and if he didn’t want to return the money that he at least needed to keep his radar up because either the cashier or the person that balances the drawers might be stealing money.

She did meet with him and he said it was her own fault for leaving the store without the money and that this is their policy.  She explained that she was upset and that she has been shopping with his store for 40 years.  He said, “Sorry”.

She said she was sorry too and told him she will never shop in his store again.

I understand the need for store policy, I understand the owner needs to stand behind his employees and I understand they need to be careful in these hard time of people trying to scam, but was there a better resolution?

What is a 40 year loyal customer worth?

Is it worth sacrificing one customer to uphold policy? Maybe so.

Was there a compromise the store owner could or even should  have worked out?  Maybe not.

Tell me what you think?

Have a wonder-filled day,

Donna Flanagin

Random me:  Spring is my favorite time of year and spring is near !!!!


Big Mistake. Big. Huge!

The cupcakes!


During the Disney Institute workshop, we learned that Disney’s top four quality standards are:  Safety, Courtesy, Show, and Efficiency.  They are discussed, trained and practiced by all DI cast members.  Courtesy to customers and fellow employees is only trumped by safety.  Did you hear me? Courtesy comes before all else.

This is a true story as recanted by my daughter.

In a recent visit to a local store (name withheld to protect the guilty), she was greeted with, well let’s just say…. with complete disregard.  She happened to be  carrying some cupcakes to bring back to the office, and as she walked into this business, 5 separate employees looked at her and then went back to the task at hand.  Not one employee acknowledged her.  Ironically this store was celebrating their Holiday Open House that day.

As she stood there dumbfounded, one employee looked back up and said, “Oh are you making the cupcake delivery?”  She smiled and politely said, “NO, I was here to make a purchase.”   At this point, she was re-thinking that idea.

Miraculously, she was now “a valued customer”.   “Oh, how can we help you?” was delivered with a great big smile.

She thought, “Are you kidding me?  When I was delivering cupcakes, I was not important at all.  Why would delivering cupcakes make me a less valued visitor?”

They say it takes over 30 positive transactions to counteract 1 bad one.  What are the chances she will be back 29 more times to find out?

As the line goes in the movie Pretty Woman, “Big mistake. Big. HUGE!”

Have a wonder-filled day,

Donna Flanagin

Random me:  My daughter Erica was named after my dad “Eric”

Loyalty – How Sweet It Is.

Oh So Sweet

What a spectacular day.

A long-time customer from a neighboring town brought us a gift of tasty chocolates.

They told us how much they appreciate what we do.

We let them know how genuinely grateful we are of their business.

They had been asked to use a local vendor for their mailings.

Their reply – haven’t found one that gives the same great service that Flanagin’s does.

The candy was tasty, but their loyalty was so much sweeter.

Have a wonder-filled day,

Donna Flanagin

Random Me:  I prefer milk-chocolate over dark chocolate.

Disney Institute – The Silver Platter

I really wanted to attend a Disney Institute workshop so I added it to my vision board. Locating the D.I. website was easy enough, deciding on which course was not so easy. My dilemma was two-fold: justifying the cost and which course would have the biggest impact on my business.

The 5 courses….

For the next two years I watched the course schedules, but failed to get off dead center. You see, I was probably only going to be able to afford one class, so I needed to be sure I was making the right choice.

And then in early 2008 an unexpected email arrived with my silver platter. For the first time ever The Disney Institute was offering a 5-day program with all 5 courses, in Orlando.

My heart was racing, it was now or never. Could I afford it, could I leave work and did my husband have time to go along?

Disney designed this one just for me, well maybe not just for me but it sure felt like it. Decision made – I was going! I was moving this one to the completed side of my vision board(two years later)!

Set Goals

Have a wonder-filled day.

Donna Flanagin

Random Me: I was a majorette in high school.

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