Every time I take my family to a certain Coffee Outlet, I am simply gobsmacked by the number of times our order is wrong.  It was got to the point where my wife and I now split up the kids to make the order smaller but even then it still comes back as something we didn’t ask for.

In my most recent encounter, I stood at the cash looking at my kids (the customers) who need to customize their meal, because they are picky (like your customers) and were met with a certain look of disdain because they wanted to deviate from the menu.

It’s a packaged good, take it or leave it.

When I go to this store on my own, I only ever order one thing, there is a 5% chance it will still be wrong but on the whole it’s not a bad ratio – I play within the customization guidelines.

Your first response might easily be – “it’s a product, why customize it to the nth degree, no one will buy it, stick to the menu”.  This is true.

Or is it.

Take another Canadian Eatery, used by name, Harvey’s.  You go to Harvey’s and there motto is “Have it your way”.  You can go there and ask for whatever you want on it.  They are selling customization of a base product, they have accepted everyone does not want it the same way and they have found a way to meet the demands and needs of that market.  At the same time they continue to expand on their base product line by offering new menu items.

What’s the difference?

One has a culture to accept that people don’t want it (or can’t have it) precisely the way you have created it and have embedded that in their sense of self from top to bottom.  While the other has rejected this notion and sought to deliver a set of items that can be picked from where requests for customization are very difficult to process.  In both cases, it’s the culture that has made the difference of the end product.

The best part of all this, both meals cost the exact same (give or take $3) and the first took longer to receive than the second.  So in the grand scheme of things, your arguments for customization might be much smaller than you think.

Want more? Check out my book Code Your Way Up – available as an eBook or Paperback on Amazon (CAN and US).  I’m also the co-host of the Remotely Prepared podcast.


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