McDonald’s treats me better than virtually any other restaurant I’ve ever eaten at.
At least their marketing department does.
If you’ve ever downloaded the McDonald’s app, you know that it’s quite good.
They regularly offer specials – and not just discounts, but free things.
They’ll give away free food regularly. And none of this “purchase required” stuff.
Plus, they regularly offer rewards and discounts.
And (like Starbucks), they know when it’s my birthday and send gifts.
And if there’s ever a problem with my order, they’ll fix it.
How cool is that?
Now compare this to a local cafe/coffee shop here in town.
As soon as you walk in, there’s a sign on the door that says “The WiFi is free, but your seat is not.”
And if you walk by the restroom, there’s a big sign that says “Bathroom for customers only”.
Last time I walked in, the person behind the counter looked terrified. Like he was afraid he’d get fired at any minute if he messed up.
In fact, the whole operation makes me feel extremely unwelcome. Like I’m inconveniencing them, and they only care about getting money out of me.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for supporting local businesses. And I’m not defending any fast food chains.
But if you want to compete against these national chains, you have to make me care.
From a customer perspective, local business is supposed to treat you better. It’s supposed to be a better experience.
Local should be the exact opposite of corporate. I’m a person not a number.
But from a marketing standpoint, there’s no restaurant that treats me better than McDonalds. And that should be a royal embarrassment for virtually every restaurant (and every chain) in the country.
The King of Fast Food treats me better than any high end restaurant. But here’s the secret sauce: They’ve automated the entire process.
Meaning, there’s not some person in a McDonald’s office somewhere sending me personal notes and push notifications.
No $8/hr employee says, “It’s Tyler’s birthday! Let’s send him a coupon!”
McDonalds figured out how to treat people with one-on-one care at scale using software.
And the same tools are available to your business.
Automating customer care takes some work up front, but it will pay off huge dividends in the long run.
So here’s my question: How do you take care of your customers?
Or maybe a better question: Do you take care of your customers?
Because if you’re not at least as good as McDonald’s, you’re in trouble.