Executives and sales leaders spend much of their time and energy trying to find new ways to bring in more revenue for their company. Every option is explored: more sales calls, more advertising, more products, more services, more inventory, more sales personnel; the list goes on.

What about spending time and energy working on a customer experience that is so SEAMLESS, your customer comes back for more, and maybe even brings a friend next time they return. 

Last week my wife and I were trying to decide what we wanted for dinner. 

After a little back and forth, we settled on a local favorite, Applebee's take-out. 

We placed our order online, and planned on taking advantage of their new Carside To Go pick up option.


For some reason the website wouldn't let us add a side of (healthy, I know) french fries to one of the meals. Strange. 

"I guess I’ll have to call in after you place the order," I said. 

After the order was placed, I called Applebee’s to add the side of fries. 

First, they picked up the phone FAST. I think it was less than ONE ring. 

Lesson #1: When your customer calls, pick up your phone. FAST. The faster the better. 

Then they found my order without even asking for my name. 

Lesson #2: Build a system where you can locate your customer's quotes or orders, FAST. 

Before calling to get the fries added, our online order total was $29.38. Just short of being eligible to use a $10 off a $30+ online-only order. 

After I added the fries on the phone, I asked if I could still use the $10 off coupon, and without hesitation, they said "absolutely!" and took care of it. 

Lesson #3: Empower your team to make quick judgments to satisfy the customer.

Typically a system like this is set up so that once you call in to add food to your order, it is no longer an online order. Who knows for sure, but the fact the they were happy to give a $10 discount THAT quickly says a lot about this store. 

So, in about 30 seconds, I called the store, added food to my order, used a coupon that technically didn’t apply and was ready to head to pick up our gourmet dinner.

Are you working hard to increase sales at your company? (If you've made it this far into an article about Applebee's, I'm 100% sure the answer is yes).

Have you looked at your customer experience to make sure it is seamless? 

Have you empowered your sales team and front line to think fast on their feet? To take a minor nuisance like this one and turn it into an amazing customer experience?

If you can create a seamless experience for your customers, they will notice. 

And afterward they might even tell a few people about it. 

But most importantly, they’ll be back for more. 

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Brad Telker
Vice President of Commercial Sales at cfm Distributors, Inc.

Brad joined the cfm team in 2006, and now as the Vice President of Commercial Sales, he focuses on business development, as well as helping contractors and engineers find creative and unique solutions to any size HVAC project. When he’s not at work, Brad enjoys photography, running and spending time with his family.