When sugar free kills loyalty

We all know that office jobs, where you sit in front of your PC most of the time are not gentle to your spine. Getting up and takes some steps help to prevent. With this in mind, I formed a little ritual with a colleague over the last month. We meet one, sometimes two times a day and get us some good coffee. While we both try to keep our body in shape, we choose always the “skinny sugar free vanilla latte”. Luckily for us, we have a Costa Coffee in five minutes walking range.

latteOne day we walked over there to get out daily threat. Sadly, they were out of the sugar free syrup. We got told that we can try one of the other sugar free lattes and tomorrow the vanilla will be available again. We went for gingerbread, which didn’t make it into our favorites. The scenario repeated itself the next day. Again we got told that the next day everything would be back to normal. Good enough for us, we tried hazelnut that day.

This wave of disappointments kept on going for eight more days. We got bored of tasting other flavors. It felt like our loyalty was on a stress test. So we stepped forward and ask the manager, why there is still no sugar free vanilla syrup and we just get to hear the same explanation every day. The answer was surprisingly honest, but maybe a bit over the top. “I knew you would buy something else to fill the gap till the favorite flavor is back in store.”

Well that worked indeed till this point. I took a receipt from the counter, that a previous customer had left there, took a pencil and wrote down my mobile number on the back, together with the words “SUGAR FREE VANILLA SYRUP” and asked her to call or send a text when they will have it available again. We left the puzzled barista and till today (two week later) I didn’t set a foot in the coffee shop again.

I admit that I am weak and got my favorite latte from another branch meanwhile and even opened up to try the same flavor from Starbucks, which left also a good impression on me. The open question is, do they ever got the flavor back? Did they treat me like a valued customer? Is this the way good business will look in the future? Wound it have been such a problem to get a bottle of syrup of one of the other branches in town? Will I ever get a notice?

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