Away In A Pret A Manger

PretRecently, I tweeted “NOT the best Customer Service from today, but, there’s still time …” after visiting one of their Central London stores. I mainly tweeted because I left Starbucks (and later, Caffe Nero) moving over to Pret, because the former’s service has become sloppy and the latter’s I like the style and concept of. Overall, a friendly yet cool environment.

Anyway, it wasn’t long before Pret HQ got on to the case replying to my tweet. The Sheppards at Pret tweeted … “Hi Kevin, we’re sorry to hear this. Do let us know if there’s anything we can help you with?” Which, I thought was impressive. Not only with the power of social media, but Pret”s whole ‘let’s address the matter’.

I followed up my tweet with an online comment via their website, as oppose to using lots of 140 Twitter characters to set out my ‘constructive’ feedback to their Customer Services.

Now, I’m always cynical about company’s that use the term “customer service” as they often offer nothing of the sort. But, the guys and girls at Pret A Manger have proved me wrong. Others, could learn a lot.

If I was a mystery shopper, they would have scored 100% on resolution alone. Above and beyond, the call of coffee!

Firstly, Emily at the Customer Services Team “thanked” me for my email (which, did make me giggle) and said she was sorry to hear of my recent experience at their store with in respect of an overpriced drink after a machine issue.

She had spoken with the General Manager Nabil, who I knew would be a nice guy because I’ve spent enough time in his shop. He confirmed the shop did unfortunately suffer with a coffee machine failure and staff were offering a replacement for the same price – but, didn’t in my case.

It wasn’t about the money, but the principle. About, getting things right first time (hopefully).

Emily went on to say Nabil would be happy to meet with me (I bet he would I thought, poor guy) to apologise personally and to offer me a treat on the house by way of apology. Or, alternatively if I preferred they would be delighted to organise a Pret card to be sent to me with their compliments so that I was able to enjoy my next coffee on them.

Now I did feel guilty, coffee-gate was in full swing.

But seriously, I did care enough about Pret to get in touch and wanted to give them the opportunity to hopefully try to put things right. Not just for me, but so that others experiences positively all I think is great about their stores.

I did reply to Emily saying when customer service is slack, it’s only right that those in-charge know. I’d never had a problem at Pret, that’s why it was important to highlight what took place. Again, it wasn’t about the price of the coffee but the impression left – which, is what Customer Services is meant to be all about.

I told her I saw the General Manager Nabil often as I was a regular at his store, and you can see how a place is run. In fact, I was at the store when I received her email.

I finished with saying I didn’t need a personal apology, as I’d raised the issue and it had been dealt with efficiently.

I didn’t want to “milk” it.

My blog has now reached the 80,000 mark and I’m aware more than most that as humans we can be quick to criticise others faults, but not so much when the service is outstanding. This is my praise of Pret.

Although, there’s always room for improvement. As I write this in ‘another’ Pret store, it took a while to be served as staff were stood about talking to each other. That said, one blog’s enough 😮

The funny thing is, I now see Nabil all the time and always try to dodge him so he doesn’t think – oh, there’s the guy who moaned about my coffee machine breaking down (ha). Seriously, he’s a good guy and I’m sure an asset to Pret. You can tell he knows his staff and his customers, he has a charm about him which makes you feel welcome.

Other than saying well done Pret, I must plod on with my reading and writing.

Take care, Max.