Anthony is lucky his cookies are so good. As an articulate uHooder once observed, “they’re like cookies your mom would make… if she were AWESOME!” And while that’s totally true, the brutal reality of Anthony’s Cookies is that his customer service sucks. I mean it sucks to the point that a few of us no longer want to go there. There are a number of major problems.
- Train the staff to be efficient. It appears that Anthony has instructed his employees to let the patrons linger and indulge them while they lazily question the flavor merits of each cookie. While during low traffic periods this is fine, during peak periods, say weekends, this is disastrous. The staff need to tell the middle-aged ladies to step to one side, contemplate their choices, and they’ll get back to them when they’re done helping out the other people who’ve been waiting for 30 minutes.
- When a long line develops, deploy more resources. By that I mean the guy whose sole job is to take the phone orders needs to realize that there’s benefit in working the till between calls. It won’t hurt. Don’t just stand there like a stunned mullet while the line snakes out to the door.
- Place the list of available cookies FOR THAT DAY on the wall. Anthony has actually addressed this and while it’s a tiny improvement, it’s an improvement nonetheless. Until about two weeks ago first time patrons would see the amazing list of all the types of cookies Anthony bakes listed on the reader board. They’d make a carefully considered selection only to find that three of the five cookies they wanted were never baked that day. Fail. What would then ensue is a further six minute delay while the customer chose something else.
- When it’s busy, ACT. Anthony clearly cares about his customers but he’s got a ways to go before he knows how to convert that caring into positive action. When the line is slow and people are getting pissed off, don’t walk up to the counter like you’re actually going to do something about it and instead offer the empty platitude of “we’ll be with you shortly.” That doesn’t change anything. The right thing to do would be to take heed of point two from above and tell the guy sweeping the floor to bag and box the cookies while the sluggish young woman at the counter takes the cash.
- Cash only for orders of $15 or less. It’s a simple fix that will ensure that people ordering big get the benefit of using their cards while the punters looking for a quick cookie fix aren’t delayed by the slow pokes. Better yet, establish a cash-only line.
Got any more suggestions for Anthony? The man needs help. With a few incremental changes he can turn what’s become a crappy experience into one that’s as awesome as his cookies.