Baby, it’s Cold Inside.

by Greg Reynolds, Client Services Manager

I had a few packages delivered yesterday, which I forgot to bring inside until I was already sunk into my couch. Since they were just on the porch, I went outside without a coat to bring them in. As the feeling slowly returned to my face, I was reminded of a trip to Chipotle. One which obviously made a negative impression on my dining experience.

In my previous career I traveled for business. A LOT. Although I loved visiting new cities and trying new restaurants, I often craved something that reminded me of home. Oddly enough that was Chipotle. Chicken bowl or bust, am I right? This particular day was very busy. I flew into Boston for meetings, drove down to Stratford for more meetings, and then back up to Portland for an 8am meeting the next morning. It was dark, raining, and the only light I saw from the highway was the glowing silhouette of that maroon and white chili pepper I’d seen so many times before. I parked my car and ran inside, into what can only be described as Planet Hoth. This place was colder than Wendy’s Twitter account.

I remember sitting there, literally shaking, eating my chicken bowl and making a conscious effort not to drink too much of my already cold Diet Coke. It goes without saying that my chicken was already lukewarm. At that point you’d think one would be angry about an experience like that. But I found myself tremendously disappointed. When you’re away from home a lot, it’s the little things that matter. And buddy, this was one of those things. I have no shame in saying that Chipotle owns my taste buds. However, this dining experience tasted more like betrayal instead of cilantro lime rice.

As a client services manager, I’ve always advised my clients, past and present, of this one fact: make absolutely certain you leave no room for doubt that each and every customer you serve leaves completely satisfied. Customer perception should be discussed daily, maybe even hourly in the right circumstances. Cliché or not, put yourself in your customers’ shoes. Will I continue to be a loyal customer to Chipotle? Of course. Did the staff know it was too cold in the restaurant that day? Who knows. What I do know, is that when I finished my meal, I didn’t go back to take an unreasonable amount of napkins to throw in my car like I usually do. And what kind of person doesn’t take napkins to put in their glove box? The kind who doesn’t enjoy having to eat with their coat on, that’s who.

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