Shopper Marketing and Customer Experience Management

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businesses are perpetually suicidal

Gail Cook Facebook Post

In the famous story about Brandon Cook’s grandmom and Panera Bread, Suzanne Fortier at Panera’s in Newhampshire thought beyond processes when she decided to cook clam chowder for Brandon’s ailing grandmom and add a box of cookies too.

Processes are for businesses, and with each passing year we make them more and more robust to better manage inventory, reduce pilferage, standardize experience. Way to go! Kill the human side of business. Processes have no emotions and we forget that human’s do!

Panera’s make clam chowder only on Tuesdays and I know some anal operations managers who would have done everything short of firing Sue for not following processes.

Jeff Bezos of Amazon says “What is it about businesses that makes it so hard to be kind?” I say “It is because businesses are perpetually suicidal”.


One comment on “businesses are perpetually suicidal

  1. thebuystories
    May 2, 2013

    Another example of how Panera treats its customers.

    Story courtesy:
    Panera Manager Really Wants Me To Have My Holiday Bread
    It being the holiday, Laura had a hankering for Panera’s Holiday Bread — full of all sorts of fruit and other goodies, and not always readily available at the store. So she contacted her local Panera to inquire if there was any Holiday Bread to be had.
    “The employee that I spoke with told me that they were out of Holiday Bread, and offered to check on availability from a store a few miles away,” writes Laura. “I told him that I would just find a different bread from his location, and would come by later to get it, and that I didn’t have time to make it to the other location. He then said that he was actually planning to drive to the other location to pick up the bread, and have it back at his location for me to pick up. Sure enough, the other location had Holiday Bread, and Justin drove there to get one loaf of bread for me, and had it ready for me to pick up at his store within a half hour.”

    These guys just know how to treat a customer like family.

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