marianos_bag-e1422620870643

Tying the Knot on Top-Notch Customer Service

A group of grocery stores is causing a stir in Chicagoland.

Mariano’s, owned by the larger Roundy’s organization, moved into the Chicago market a few years ago and continues to gain fans. With the personalized service, outstanding selection and in-store cafe options, they’ve built a loyal following of customers.

I didn’t have much experience with Mariano’s simply because there isn’t one in my part of town…yet. (There are plans to see a store here soon.) But once a month, while recording our podcast Crack The Customer Code, I get my lunch from the Mariano’s across the street. And almost every time, this means soup and salad from their plentiful salad and soup options.

I hardly noticed the first time, or the second, but by the third, I saw a pattern. Whenever I checked out with soup, no matter who was at the register, my bag was tied the same way.

Top-Notch Customer Service

It was looped to be both spill-proof and easy-to-open. And our producer, who goes there a lot more often, confirmed this. His experience has been the same. No matter who is at the register. No matter what size of soup you get. The knot is always the same.

So why is this such an important microinteraction? Consider what this means.

  • Workers are trained, clearly, on how to do this. Consistently. This small knot is included in what they learn.
  • The consistency is what’s important. Mariano’s leadership clearly understands the experience for the customer goes way beyond putting the lid on the soup.
  • The check-out cashiers see this task as part of their role. It’s automatic.

But a microinteraction like this is often overlooked.

Most customers will never even realize their bag is consistently tied the same way. Most may never appreciate the care of a small action like this. So why do it?

These knots are preventing poor experiences. They are helping the customer through what could be a pitfall of the experience. No customer wants soup that has spilled all over the bag. None of us want to struggle with a too-tight knot trying to access the product we’ve already purchased. Mariano’s knows that.

I can’t confirm is this is true at every Mariano’s store or just this one on the northwest side of Chicago. Leadership at this particular store saw it as important, and I’m betting it’s a consistent experience at other stores, too.

Leaders cared about this knot enough to train workers on it specifically. Workers care enough to deliver on this small moment in the experience.

And I get to enjoy delicious soup because of it. It’s easy to overlook, but it’s critical not to ignore.

Image credit: LincolnSquareInsider via Creative Commons license


Microinteraction of the Month

2.7k
views
21
items


Jeannie Walters

Microinteraction of the Month

Listly by Jeannie Walters

Each month, we pick a great example of a microinteraction – either what to do OR what not to do. Microinteractions are the small moments that impact the customer experience.

  Follow List
  Embed List
  Share
  1. 1 

    January Microinteraction of the Month

    January Microinteraction of the Month

    What’s a microinteraction? It’s the little thing that sets the tone for an experience. We’re obsessed with them around here. We think they are often overlooked and are the types of events that can make or break not only the experience of a customer with a brand, but someone’s entire day.

    Added by Anne Reuss on Aug 05, 2013



    0 likes

    Comments
    Relist
    Share
  2. 2 

    LOVE: Feburary Microinteraction of the Month

    LOVE: Feburary Microinteraction of the Month

    Last month, we introduced the idea of recognizing our favorite (and not so favorite) microinteractions. It’s the little thing that sets the tone for an experience.

    Added by Anne Reuss on Aug 05, 2013



    0 likes

    Comments
    Relist
    Share
  3. 3 

    March Microinteraction of the Month: No Permission? Not Impressed. – 360 Connext

    March Microinteraction of the Month: No Permission? Not Impressed. - 360 Connext

    No permission?? Not impressed. Microinteractions can be ghastly too and leave the customer with a bad impression so it’s helpful to pay attention!

    Added by Anne Reuss on Aug 05, 2013



    0 likes

    Comments
    Relist
    Share
  4. 4 

    This Bandaid Can Save a Life: Microinteraction of the Month – April

    This Bandaid Can Save a Life: Microinteraction of the Month - April

    I saw this picture scroll by in my Facebook feed. Like, hold up! I zoomed in and gasped. Genius microinteraction and packaging

    Added by Anne Reuss on Aug 05, 2013



    0 likes

    Comments
    Relist
    Share
  5. 5 

    It’s Your Fault, Customer: Microinteraction of the Month – May

    It's Your Fault, Customer: Microinteraction of the Month - May

    I love when we get microinteraction submissions from members of our community! It shows two things: 1. These small moments matter. Just as we preach around here, those small moments we have to interact with customers (or just fellow humans) are precious. They should enlighten, entertain or educate. Not disappoint like this one.

    Added by Anne Reuss on Aug 05, 2013



    0 likes

    Comments
    Relist
    Share
  6. 6 

    June Microinteraction of the Month: 404 Page Call-To-Action

    June Microinteraction of the Month: 404 Page Call-To-Action

    Finding what you need in today’s world can be a real challenge but wicked good microinteractions like this can delight (and help) the customer

    Added by Anne Reuss on Aug 05, 2013



    0 likes

    Comments
    Relist
    Share
  7. 7 

    July Microinteraction of the Month: GrubHub Delights Employees

    July Microinteraction of the Month: GrubHub Delights Employees

    You don’t have to send your employees on a posh escape to make them stay.

    Added by Anne Reuss on Aug 05, 2013



    0 likes

    Comments
    Relist
    Share
  8. 8 

    If You Want to Offend Customers, This is Foolproof

    If You Want to Offend Customers, This is Foolproof

    Our Microinteraction of the Month comes from Stan Phelps of 9INCH Marketing who captured a rather unfortunate microinteraction that might offend customers.

    Added by Anne Reuss on Oct 01, 2013



    0 likes

    Comments
    Relist
    Share
  9. 9 

    Why One Bad Customer Interaction Could Haunt Your Brand

    Why One Bad Customer Interaction Could Haunt Your Brand

    A bad customer service email is just one interaction, but these kind of things could haunt your brand.

    Added by Anne Reuss on Oct 02, 2013



    0 likes

    Comments
    Relist
    Share
  10. 10 

    Spooky Microinteractions Linger

    Spooky Microinteractions Linger

    Do you know what a FUSER error is? Most don’t, and it’s just a pain.

    Added by Anne Reuss on Nov 03, 2013



    0 likes

    Comments
    Relist
    Share
  11. 11 

    Customer Delight Through Personalized Experiences

    Customer Delight Through Personalized Experiences

    Google Doodles are delightful and engaging, but imagine the surprise when they personalized it one day for a lady’s birthay!!

    Added by Anne Reuss on Dec 31, 2013



    0 likes

    Comments
    Relist
    Share
  12. 12 

    Disaster Alert: Proactive Customer Service to the Rescue

    Disaster Alert: Proactive Customer Service to the Rescue

    A bad customer experience might be remembered, but how you handle it proactively will make a lasting impression. Heroes are never made in absence of a crisis!

    Added by Anne Reuss on Dec 31, 2013



    0 likes

    Comments
    Relist
    Share
  13. 13 

    Why Did Beer + Transparency Earn Microinteraction of the Month?

    Why Did Beer + Transparency Earn Microinteraction of the Month?

    A beer store went public on Facebook when they accidentally overcharged a customer.

    Added by Anne Reuss on Jan 31, 2014



    0 likes

    Comments
    Relist
    Share
  14. 14 

    Griled Cheese Joint Delivers on Customer Centric Services with a QR Code

    Griled Cheese Joint Delivers on Customer Centric Services with a QR Code

    The Melt, a grilled cheese joint chain, came up with an innovative way to leverage the usually banal QR code to deliver a customer centric service!

    Added by Anne Reuss on Feb 28, 2014



    0 likes

    Comments
    Relist
    Share
  15. 15 

    How One Microinteraction Spells Merchandising Genius

    How One Microinteraction Spells Merchandising Genius

    Do not touch! You break, you buy. I’m sure everyone has seen signs like this, especially in retail stores. So many times, in fact, that we no longer really need to see them. We often assume these rules apply in most places. Why do many retailers feel the customers don’t need to touch anything?

    Added by Anne Reuss on Mar 31, 2014



    0 likes

    Comments
    Relist
    Share
  16. 16 

    The Best Email Blunder Comeback Ever

    The Best Email Blunder Comeback Ever

    Scrambling to fix that mistake? This amazing email comeback teaches us how to recover from mistakes.

    Added by Anne Reuss on Jun 03, 2014



    0 likes

    Comments
    Relist
    Share
  17. 17 

    Why “Out of Order” Isn’t Out of Bounds To Customers – Customer Experience Consulting

    Why "Out of Order" Isn't Out of Bounds To Customers - Customer Experience Consulting

    The restroom at my local San Francisco Starbucks has been Out of Order for at least seven months. That’s what the signs have been telling me, anyway. After the first month, I thought, “man, contractors must be expensive in the Bay Area,” but then I grew suspicious.

    Added by Anne Reuss on Jul 29, 2014



    0 likes

    Comments
    Relist
    Share
  18. 18 

    Empowered Employees Outshine “By the Book” Service

    Empowered Employees Outshine "By the Book" Service

    My mother, Jane Reuss, is a Member Engagement Advisor for Life Time Fitness. When visiting her at her office recently, I was befuddled when I saw a cute pyramid of water bottles wrapped in gym towels on the counter behind her desk. I asked her, “Mom, what are those?”

    Added by Anne Reuss on Aug 01, 2014



    0 likes

    Comments
    Relist
    Share
  19. 19 

    This Simple and Coolest Customer Care Idea Will Inspire You – Customer Experience Consulting

    This Simple and Coolest Customer Care Idea Will Inspire You - Customer Experience Consulting

    This is a Public Service Announcement: Good guys don’t finish last in customer service! The pressure to stay competitive is more prevalent now. Who has the “raddest and baddest” mobile site? Who came up with the most creative social media campaign or packaging design for bandages?

    Added by Anne Reuss on Sep 03, 2014



    0 likes

    Comments
    Relist
    Share
  20. 20 

    Why Customer Support Email Should Be Considered Sacred

    Why Customer Support Email Should Be Considered Sacred

    Email is one of the few fertile grounds you have left for building customer relationships.

    Added by Anne Reuss on Oct 27, 2014



    0 likes

    Comments
    Relist
    Share
  21. 21 

    Spooky Calls-To-Action For Converting Visitors

    Spooky Calls-To-Action For Converting Visitors

    Creative ways to spook your customers out of making mistakes…by following your call to actions!

    Added by Anne Reuss on Nov 06, 2014



    0 likes

    Comments
    Relist
    Share

View more lists from
Jeannie Walters

About the Author