Category: Customer Service: Food & Beverage

Panda Express: Do Free Samples Increase Customer Satisfaction?

Panda ExpressIn order for a company to stay competitive in today’s environment they need to get creative in the ways that they provide customer service. Increasing customer satisfaction is getting more competitive the more innovative companies are getting, and the higher a customer’s expectations are. Customers do not only expect to be greeted with a friendly employee, but also expect to be wowed in some way by your company. I mean a friendly employee is definitely a solid start for a company, but in order to really make the experience exceptional a company needs to go above and beyond.

Image result for panda express five flavor shrimpThis past week I visited Panda Express to grab dinner, and I got to thinking, do their free samples really increase the consumers overall satisfaction? I know that Panda Express is not the only company to offer free samples, they are one of many companies following this practice. I know that many consumers are delighted at the opportunity to technically “try before they buy,” but what about the customers who have no intent of purchasing a certain entrée, but are more than willing to take a sample of the product. This may not seem like a big deal, but a trend I have noticed is that the sample is usually a shrimp entrée, that Panda Express has an extra charge for if selected.

Image result for panda express storeThese are known as “premium entrees” and will always cost a little extra if chosen. This may not seem like a big deal, however I have noticed a trend throughout the times that I have chosen to eat at Panda Express; customers sample the shrimp, but don’t buy. There have been multiple times I have been behind customers who would like to sample the shrimp, and do not even seem to consider the purchase, because they clearly already knew what they wanted, which was a non-premium entrée. I questioned whether offering these free samples really helped the company, or does it diminish their supply, which is why they have to charge extra in the first place. If for example a quarter of the product is given away for free by sampling, this could hurt the company’s overall profit, and just drive up the extra charge for these premium entrees.

Image result for Free samplesI am not saying that sampling is bad, in many ways it is a positive for a company. Consumers have a better experience overall, and are less likely to return an entire purchase because they were not satisfied. In this way sampling is great! Because an entire entrée being tossed because of a customer not liking the product is avoided by them sampling the item before purchase. Sampling also allows customers to try a new item they may not have purchased initially, which I believe is the true reason for this practice. If a customer is hesitant on the shrimp for example, but after the sample they choose the entrée, then Panda Express made the sale. So as you can tell there are definitely pros and cons to sampling.

How do you feel about being offered a free sample by a company? Does that make you more or less likely to purchase from them again? Let me know by leaving a comment!

Photo Credit: Panda Express, Shrimp, Store, Samples

Starbucks: Delighting Customers with the “Unicorn Frappuccino”

Starbucks is an industry leading brand with their hot, cold, and blended beverage choices. Along with their expanding food options, there is no question as to why you can find a Starbucks location no matter your destination. Not only does the brand offer tangible goods for their customers, but also the intangible reputation the brand has created over the years with their prominent logo.

Thriving off of their customers and their wishes it was no surprise that Starbucks has now jumped on the “Unicorn” trend with their all new Unicorn Frappuccino Blended Crème drink available for a limited time only at participating locations. Released today, the drink has already taken social media by storm. The Social Age provides customers with a quick and easy way to promote any new item that hits the market. Starbucks has won the battle of the Social Age with this whimsical drink.

With its debut I had to try the drink out for myself to see what all the hype was about. I was definitely not disappointed. The drink lived up to its promotional image with swirls of purple, pink, and blue. Topped off with whipped cream and sour powder, the flavors change as you drink it. Starting off mainly sweet, the sour starts to kick in once the flavors melt together. Transforming the experience of what I would consider a typical Frappuccino blended beverage.

No caffeine allows this drink to be marketed to consumers of all ages, and be promoted at any time of day for their unicorn loving customers. You can also customize the drink based off of your personal food preferences. Here are your options:

  • Size: Tall (12 oz.), Grande (16 oz.), Venti (24 oz.)
  • Milk: Almond, Coconut, Nonfat, Whole, 2%, Soy
  • With or without whipped cream

Here is a breakdown of what is actually in this magical drink:

  • Ice
  • Milk
  • Crème Frappuccino Syrup
  • Whipped Cream
  • Mango Syrup
  • Blue Drizzle
  • Pink Powder
  • Sour Blue Powder

This drink has proved that companies will listen, when customers want to experience new and interesting foods, like this Unicorn Frappuccino. Taking the internet by storm, I am excited to see what other companies decide to maximize on the unicorn trend. Not only are customers excited, but this is also brining in profits and increasing customer loyalty for the industry leader. How will Starbucks top this internet breaking beverage? I guess we will have to wait see what they will come out with this summer.

Want to try one of these magical drinks for yourself? Check to see if a local Starbucks is participating with this featured drink! But don’t wait too long, this drink is only offered for a limited time while supplies last.

Photo Credit: Starbucks

Jamba Juice: Great Customer Service and Healthy Choices

Image result for jamba juice

I have been a fan of Jamba Juice for many years, with their great service and different options for healthy drinks and snacks. I have always encountered friendly and knowledgeable employees, who are willing to help and answer any questions you may have pertaining to the companies menu options. Jamba Juice is not only committed to providing great products, but is also committed to their customer. Their FAQ’s site covers many questions a customer may have, and improving the overall customer experience. They stand by their statement:

“Our customers have always inspired our quest for the perfect products and experiences – and we’re downright passionate about improving the little things”

Jamba Juice also provides a Jamba Insider Rewards program, and here are just some of the perks:Jamba Juice Rewards

  1. $3 off with every 35 points
  2. Personalized offers
  3. Free small Birthday smoothie
  4. $3 off your next visit, just for joining!

As you can tell they are committed to satisfying their customers, and offer incentives for brand loyalty. Even today I was offered a perk I wasn’t aware of: “Thirsty Thursday.” What did this mean for me? My medium smoothie was upgraded to a large at no extra charge! This made my experience that much greater.

Jamba Juice does not only have an array of smoothies to choose from, but also has expanded menu options including; Energy Bowls, Shots, Juices, Tasty Bites, Jamba Kids, and Boosts. One thing I always wanted to try was a Wheatgrass Shot, which I did today and was pleasantly surprised. The employee recommended taking the shot with an orange slice on the side, which was much needed. Here are some of the benefits of each of the shots they offer. I will definitely be trying the Orange Ginger Cayenne Shot next time.

Wheatgrass ShotWheatgrass Shot

  • Non-Gluten
  • Non-Dairy
  • Vegan
  • No artificial preservatives
  • No artificial flavors
  • No high fructose corn syrup
  • 0g trans fat
  • Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and Iron

Ginger ShotsOrange Ginger Cayenne Shot

  • Fresh Orange Juice
  • Fresh Ginger Juice
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Calcium
  • Iron

 

This is just a highlight of the Shots that Jamba Juice provides. Their website provides so much more detail and information on all of their tasty and healthy products. Their amazing menu coupled with the customer focused attitude of the employees, guarantees a great experience when you walk through their doors.

 

Are you a fan of Jamba Juice? Next time you are on your smartphone, sign up for the Jamba Insider Rewards program and start receiving perks today!

Photo Credit: Jamba Juice, Insider Rewards, Wheatgrass, Orange Ginger Cayenne