I came to a fateful decision. I gave up my favorite latte. In the scheme of world affairs, it’s meaningless. In my own little world, I lingered on this decision.
A few months ago I discovered the Coconut Mocha Macchiato. I fell in love.
There was one small problem.
Half the time I ordered the drink they gave it to me iced instead of hot. I then had to correct the Barista and wait for my new drink. Yesterday it happened again. I reached a critical point. I got tired being that guy. You know, the one who always complains.
This time, I accepted the iced drink without complaining.
I made the decision when I ordered. It was no longer worth the trouble. I would stick to regular coffee and avoid the chance of confusion.
I doubt I’m the only one to experience this. By switching back to regular coffee I save twelve dollars a week. How many other people did the same?
What’s the lesson here?
Most of us hate complaining. At some point, we tire of it. Customers expect occasional mistakes. Even if they annoy us, we get over it. When it happens over and over we stop complaining. We avoid the uncomfortable situation. That’s exactly what I did. The mistake happened so often, I decided to avoid the circumstance that caused it.
Pay Attention To The “Little” Screw Ups
The big ugly mistakes get everyone’s attention. Customers demand permanent fixes. They never let you forget.
Small screw-ups often go unnoticed. When I miss a customer email or forget something small the other person gives me a pass. I gave the coffee shop a pass many times. Those little screw ups add up. They’re cumulative. At some point, your customer can’t take it anymore. That’s what happened to me.
Does Starbucks keep track of how many drinks they need to do over? I don’t know. Maybe they should start.
This experience challenged me to keep track of my own mini-mistakes. Our customers force us to fix the big mistakes. They give us a pass on the small ones until it reaches a tipping point. By then it may be too late.