Do You Give Your Customers the Pickle?
Give Customers the Pickle!
In Bob Farrell’s book Give ‘Em the Pickle, he discusses a letter a restaurant owner received from one of his lifelong customers who decided that he would no longer be a patron of his establishment. The reason? The customer asked for a pickle on the side. The server, who was new to the position, stated that he would have to charge him twenty-five cents for the pickle.
After several minutes of unsuccessfully trying to explain to the argumentative server that he had never in twenty-five years been charged for a pickle, the customer decided to leave. He also decided at that minute that he would write the owner and make him aware of his decision to not visit his restaurant again. He explained that it wasn’t the cost of the pickle. It was the principal. After twenty-five years of patronage, he was going to be charged for something that he had always perceived as an added value to his experience at the restaurant. Once the added value was taken away, in such a manner, he no longer felt a desire to visit the restaurant for lunch.
As business owners, you must know when to give your customer the pickle. You must train your staff to add value to any experience your customers have. A customer of Zappos received a phone call from a customer who wanted to return a winter coat. It was too large. The Zappos customer service representative asked that she not return the coat in exchange for a smaller size. He asked that she donate it to a local shelter because there were so many people in need, especially in the winter. He also explained that he would ship her a new coat in her size at no additional charge.
That’s giving them the pickle!