BUSINESS MARKETING: Snap! Crackle! & Pop! versus soggy shredded wheat?

2012-12-22T11:26:00Z BUSINESS MARKETING: Snap! Crackle! & Pop! versus soggy shredded wheat?Larry Galler Times Business Columnist
December 22, 2012 11:26 am  • 

I remember as a youngster being delighted at breakfast when I poured milk over a bowl of Rice Krispies, listening to those thrilling snaps, crackles and pops as the little kernels burst with sound.

I was reminded of that experience at a store I bought a commodity service from, but it started earlier, when I phoned to make an appointment.

The call was answered snappy-fast, the voice on the phone was crackling with energy, friendly, professional and obviously well-trained to greet customers well. I immediately had confidence my experience with this company was going to be a high quality, high service effort.

When I arrived for my appointment, I noticed the staff was energetic, polite, well-groomed, happy and helpful. I discussed my needs and was offered some suggestions (with advice) and placed an order. The transaction went smoothly. The service work I purchased was done with the same enthusiasm (snap, crackle and pop!) as the greeting and sales experience.

Contrast this with the performance at the business I previously used, which brought back memories of pouring milk over a hay roll of Shredded Wheat – a lump of straw-like stuff that sat, soggy and joyless. A couple guys sitting on stools at a counter, no expression on their faces except perhaps boredom as if I was interrupting their day. They answered my questions in monosyllabic grunts. They were slovenly, slothful. I bought and left determined to find a new vendor.

Although there was little, if any, difference in price and quality of work that I could tell between the two, the difference in the experience was stunning.

One made it almost a joy to spend my hard-earned bucks while the other was an unsatisfying chore. Much like breakfast cereals where the difference in nutrition is probably similar (no, I haven’t read the labels in fact I haven’t eaten either in decades), the experience is decidedly different.

Which cereal, as a youngster, would you prefer – the one with joy or the lump? Which business would you prefer, the one that crackles or the one that glowers? What’s the experience at your place?

Opinions are solely the writer's. Larry Galler, of Larry Galler & Associates, is a marketing and management consultant for small and mid-size companies. Read Galler’s Free Special Report, “The Performance Review – an opportunity to elevate the performance of the company.” To receive it, send an email to put “Performance” in the subject line.

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