Category: Customer Service: Company Spotlight

Dutch Bros: Came for the Smoothie, Left with a Puppy

This blog I will be discussing story that combines the great experience I always receive at Dutch Bros Coffee, and how that turned into my family and I adopting a puppy that didn’t have a home.

Dutch Bros Coffee was established in 1992 in Grants Pass, Oregon, by two brothers of Dutch descent. Their unique atmosphere has turned into one of the country’s “largest, privately help drive-thru coffee companies.” They have over 260 locations in seven states currently. They not only have an amazing business but also have given away one million drinks a year.

Their core values are, speed, quality and service. They also have a strong community focus and have donated over $2 million a year to local communities and nonprofit organizations. Dutch Bros is not just a brand, but has a loyal customer base called the “Dutch Mafia.”

Every experience I have had there is customer focused, with their friendly knowledgeable employees who are always having fun, and dancing to the stereo playing upbeat fun music. They also provide a rewards card, which provides you with a free drink after ten purchases, again promoting customer loyalty.

So now for the memorable experience my mom and I had three years ago. We had just finished participating in a 5k running event in Reno, Nevada and were heading back to our home in Carson City. Since there are no Dutch Bros currently in Reno, the only one to stop at in Northern Nevada, is in my home town of Carson City.

I wanted to stop there on our way home to grab a smoothie. Little did I know at the time we would be leaving with much more than just a smoothie. Heading through their drive thru we had just paid for our smoothies, and standing in the line to their order window was a girl holding a little white Siberian husky puppy.

We of course asked if we could see this little white ball of fluff, and the girl came over and jokingly asked, “Do you want her?” My mom and I both laughed, but the girl said she was serious and that this little husky didn’t have a home and she was just taking care of her for the week. So we took down her phone number and once again were in the situation of consideration adopting another puppy for our family.

A week later we couldn’t help but decide to bring her home with us. I felt that Keva needed a sister her own size to play with as well. My parents have two Pomeranians, Nala and Koko, who easily adjusted to the newest addition. My brother is always great at coming up with the names for our pets, so it was decided that Kona would be her name.

She is now a rambunctious 3 year old, full of energy and ready for adventure. She even has her own backpack to head out with my Dad on his summer backpacking trips. She loves all of her older adopted sisters and never wants to miss out on the action.

So next time you’re near a Dutch Bros looking for a coffee or beverage, be prepared for an experience you might not expect! We had a great customer experience, and also added to our fur family.


Nevada Humane Society: My Life Changing Experience

Throughout this blog I will be discussing a personal story that changed my life about five years ago. My customer experience with the Nevada Humane Society, was not only great, but greatly added to my life.

First, I’ll tell you a little bit about the Nevada Humane Society. They are a charitable, non-profit organization established in 1932. They are located in Reno, Nevada. Since their new mission in 2007 over 90,000 animals have found forever homes. In 2014 the Nevada Humane Society expanded to include Carson City, and in 2016 they moved into their new facility. They are not only prominent in Nevada, but have received national recognition for cutting edge animal welfare, and also help in educating other shelters on lifesaving practices.

Their mission and vision statements are as follows, “to care for pets, find them homes and save lives. All pets should have a healthy, happy life.” Their guiding principles, “are to promote humane treatment, relieve suffering, operate their no-kill shelters and educate and engage the community.”

So how does the Nevada Humane Society relate to me? Well here’s a little bit about my story. Five years ago I was heading to get a pedicure with two of my best friends as a reward for finishing our fall semester of school at UNR in 2012. However, my friend Karli was helping to foster a small litter of puppies from the Nevada Humane Society. We headed over to first see the puppies and once I saw little “Vera” it was love at first site.

The following day I told my Mom about this wonderful little puppy, and after some consideration within our family we decided to contact the Nevada Humane Society to express our interest in adopting her. The Nevada Humane Society was excited about our interest and we were put down on the list to adopt her. She was still quite young so it was about another month before we got the call to come in and adopt her.

I vividly remember the day we walked into the Nevada Humane Society and saw her. I knew instantly she remembered who I was, and right when I picked her up she licked my face and I knew we made the right decision. She’s a black, cream and white husky mix and changed my life since that day we took her home.

My brother has always been able to come up with the names for all of our pets, so over the next couple of days we landed on the name Keva. She became the “giant” little sister to my parents two Pomeranian’s, Nala and Koko. It took them a little while to get used to her large clumsy self, but now they all live together as adopted doggy siblings.

This year she will be 5 years old and I can’t believe how fast the time has gone. I have become an obsessive dog mom along with many of my friends who have also adopted dogs as well. The Nevada Humane Society provided me with the best customer experience I could have imagined.

If you’re interested in the services they provide head to their website. Some of the programs and services include; animal rescue and care, pet adoptions, animal resource center, volunteer opportunities, and low-cost spay/neuter services. You won’t be disappointed!

Lululemon’s Excellent CX

Image result for lululemon logoIn the world of athletic wear there are many options for a customer to decide from. Many different brands, logos, price ranges, and quality. My mom and I have tried many different brands throughout the years, and different brands provide different benefits depending on the item you need. However, Lululemon consistently provides a great experience in all aspects of their business.

Recently my mom purchased a couple pairs of running pants from their website, and was alerted when the items were on their way, and received the items in only a couple of days. This was just with their standard shipping. Lululemon is a more expensive brand, so providing excellent service and follow through is essential to keeping customers coming back for more. My mom has purchased from other higher end sportswear brands and has not received the same level of attention when purchasing online, which has set Lululemon apart from the rest.

Image result for lululemon pantsNot only does Lululemon provide a great experience, they also have an excellent product that is very high quality. The clothing I have from there is excellent and always lasts forever. I never have to worry about the fabric stretching or ripping, and the fit is great for not only running, but any type of activity. I mean I know the prices are a little high, but when spending that amount of money I expect a high quality product, which this company lives up to.

One great thing about their brand as well, is that they do provide discounts online under there “We Made Too Much” section. Here you can find styles from throughout their collection for a discounted price, allowing more customers to purchase a few more items. Providing discounts strengthens customer loyalty, because many shoppers love to feel as though they are saving some money, and this is a perfect way for Lululemon to still make a profit on items they may not have sold otherwise.

Image result for lululemon sweat with us communityLululemon is not just a brand, but also has a strong community focus, wherever their stores are located. They host classes and events for the community to get involved in while also promoting wellness and fitness. Their “Sweat with Us” series is hosted throughout the country and increasing interaction with the brand. Details on the dates, times, and locations can be found under their inspiration section on their website.

What is your favorite athletic wear brand? What makes them stand out? Let me know by leaving a comment!

Photo Credit: Lulu Logo, Pants, Sweatlife

Old Navy: Great Prices and Great Customer Service

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With the many options for a retail experience, there is much competition between companies to provide an excellent experience. Not only do customers want to have a good experience, but also be provided with competitive prices. I get that there are high end retailers that consumers will choose for their intangible benefits, however there are also many customers who want to be able to pick out outfits for the whole family, with a decent price, while also receiving good quality and recent trends from the industry.

Image result for old navyI decided to highlight Old Navy specifically in this blog post, because of a recent memorable experience my mom and I had while shopping there. One of the many benefits that Old Navy provides are deals and discounts, which can be combined many times. My mom had received a birthday discount, and also had a coupon for $20 off of a $50 purchase. Once we finished up with our shopping we headed to check out. The discounts were scanned, however they weren’t combining (even though the birthday discount said it can be combined with any offer). The cashier called for additional assistance and the shift manager was happy to honor both discounts.

Even though this only resulted in an $8 additional discount, it was more meaningful that Old Navy as a company, respects their customers and wants to make the shopping experience as pleasant as possible. Instead of holding up the line to figure out all of the details of the coupons, the manager just made it right in the moment. Which I believe is key to standing out, and ensuring customer loyalty. My mom and I will absolutely continue to be Old Navy customers, and I am happy to write about the amazing experience that they provide.

Image result for GAPOld Navy is owned by GAP, which is also has the brand names Banana Republic and Athleta. I headed to Old Navy’s customer service page, where they also provide a user friendly platform for customers. They have a two column website, where they provide many options if a customer needs to contact them including; phone numbers, address in case you would like to write them a letter, as well as help in regards to their company credit card.

They highlight the top customer questions at the top of their page which are as follows:

  • How do I return or exchange an item I bought?
  • What’s the status of my order?
  • Can I track the shipment of my order?
  • Can I change or cancel my order?
  • How do I enter a promo code for an online purchase?

Old Navy has a very customer focused service website and makes it clear that they are there to help with whatever question or concern you may have. Simplicity helps companies to stand out, especially in regards to the customer service part of your site. Because consumers want to be able to solve their question or concern quickly and easily.

Have you shopped at Old Navy? What was your experience like? Let me know by leaving a comment!

Photo Credit: Old Navy Logo, Store Front, GAP Logo

Movie Theaters Are Increasing The Experience They Provide

Image result for movie theaterThe Social Age has changed the way people are able to access movies, music, television shows, and other sources of media. People used to have to head to a movie theater if they wanted to see the newest feature film. However, today many people wait for movies to be released digitally. No longer are movie theaters the go to for a movie experience.

This can be difficult for an industry, because many times theaters are not filled to capacity and they are losing sales each and every day. Millennials and the dominance of smart phones, make it difficult for many to sit through an entire movie without checking their phone for an update. This has obviously become a problem over the last decade or so, because every time you go to see a movie there is a screen telling everyone to turn off or silence their phones before the movie begins.

Image result for movie theater popcornMany people also are reluctant to pay the excessively high prices for food and beverages, which is one of the biggest sources of profit for many theaters. Most of the profit from the ticket sales, go back to the movie studios. These companies are relying on people to buy the concessions to keep the business running.

In order to combat the pressure of the ever changing expectations from the customer, many movie theater companies have been increasing the experience they provide in order to entice consumers to come back for more. Expanding concession options have gone from the typical popcorn and soda, to offering ice cream, numerous brands of candy, and even offering alcoholic beverages like beer and wine.

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Fandago has started changing out the interior of their theaters, and have turned some of their larger theaters in Luxury+. These theaters have extra wide aisles, leather seats, and the option to recline the seat as well. This allows the customer to enjoy the movie as if they were at home. No longer do customers have to sit side by side, cramped into a theater, which is never filled to capacity anyways.

This is an extremely smart idea, because instead of quantity the focus has turned to quality. Providing a memorable and comfortable experience for the customer. Many even allow the customer to choose their seats ahead of time, also eliminating the pressure of finding the right seat. Creating a stress free and fun experience.

What other ways do you think movie theaters can improve the customer experience? Let me know by leaving a comment!

Photo Credit: Seating, Popcorn, Fandango

Bank of America Created a Stress Free Experience

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When it comes to people’s finances, safety and security protection are huge deciding factors on where consumers will do their business. Banks across the world have the intense pressure of maintaining customers’ confidentiality and protecting their assets for them. This is all part of the customer experience and service they provide. A customer needs to be reassured that the bank they keep their money in will keep them protected, otherwise why would anyone use their services at all. This is part of the financial industries customer service practice.

Image result for debit card fraudI decided to recognize Bank of America in this blog post, because I recently dealt with fraud to my account with them. This is not something that has ever happened to me before, so I was shocked when I realized that somehow, someone got the information to my debit card. Thankfully, it was only used for a small transaction amount, but just knowing that someone had access to my card was enough to cause stress and anxiety.

Thankfully, Bank of America has securities protocols in place to alert when activity on my account is made. I elected to have email notifications when any of my accounts with them are used to purchase something online, over the phone, or wherever a merchant would need to key in my card numbers. This was how I was instantly alerted that someone had used my card number electronically to make a purchase. I logged into my account and was easily able to find a help number, to contact since I didn’t recognize the transaction.

Once I called the number I answered a few questions and was alerted that the hold time was about fifteen minutes, but in this situation I was willing to wait because it involved my financial security. However, Bank of America provided a great option to leave my phone number and they will have someone call you back once you are next in line; instead of having to wait on the phone. Another great customer experience option.

Image result for fraud protection bank of americaI received a call back in a timely manner, and the employee was extremely educated and knew how to handle the situation quickly and efficiently. We went through a series of questions to help identify the situation, and I was notified that my account would be monitored for the following ten days, as well as instant closure of that card. She filed my claim, and said a new card would be shipped to me in a week, which I received.

I felt the stress melt away instantly, because this situation was handled so efficiently by Bank of America. I thank them for protecting my accounts, and ensuring my financial security with them. Bank of America provided an amazing customer experience and I am happy to continue by business with them.

Have you ever had to deal with fraud to your bank accounts? How did the company you do business with handle the situation? Let me know by leaving a comment!

Photo Credit: Bank of America, Debit Card, Secure

Walmart: Do They Value Customer Service

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Walmart is an extremely successful company, known for its low prices and breadth of products they offer. I guarantee almost everyone has made a trip in there for one reason or another, whether you wanted to or not. Their low prices keep the customer coming back for more, which is a good thing, because if it was solely on their service they provide many people may opt for a different option. Companies can’t be great at everything, and Walmart does many things right. However, when it comes to their customer service and experience they provide the consumer they are less than stellar.

Walmart for the most part doesn’t offer a horrible experience, but usually their stores seem to be understaffed with employees who aren’t necessarily going out of their way to help. As a previous retail guest experience manager I know the ups and downs the customer service industry has to provide, and one of the keys to success is making sure the customer is heard when they have a problem. Timely feedback is essential. Even if the feedback isn’t timely it is crucial. No feedback in the Social Age is unacceptable.

Image result for long lines at walmartNormally I have a fine experience at Walmart; I find what I need for a great price. However, this past holiday season my mom and I made a trip to Walmart that was less than thrilling. There were only a handful of registers open, and the lines were extremely long, reaching back into the clothing. Many people around us were complaining, one man looking for a manager. I understand the pressure of holiday crowds. However, what was the worst part was there were two employees standing and watching for over ten minutes before finally deciding to jump on a register to help out with the lines.

Image result for bad customer serviceProactively deciding not to help during a rush time where customers are angry will only lead to a negative experience and likelihood of giving a poor review. I have never given a bad review, but this time I had to take the survey provided at the bottom of the receipt. I answered the questions and offered a detailed description of what happened. Months have gone by and I have never been contacted by their customer service team to address my complaint.

I wrote a couple of previous blogs about how to treat your customer, and being sincere in your response. However, giving no feedback leaves a different kind of lasting impression in the customer’s mind that the company doesn’t even care to address a concern when it is brought to their attention. With the Social Age there are so many different kinds of opportunities for companies to interact with the customer. Many of these are quick and easy and don’t take too much time out of the day, but make a huge impression on the customer.Image result for bad customer service

Like I said, Walmart does numerous things right, but in this example they failed to follow up on a negative customer experience. What have been your experiences at Walmart? Let me know by leaving a comment!

Photo Credit: Walmart, Long LinesSurvey, Service Matters