Whole Foods: How small gestures create fans


My wife ordered a cake for Easter. We were having family over for a big dinner. We arrived at Whole Foods to get our cake only to find out that they sold it. They assumed because we arrived a bit later than anticipated we didn’t want it.

We understood that, but it didn’t make my wife feel much better. And it didn’t make the baker at Whole Foods feel better either. The baker apologized over and over again and pointed us to some small chocolate egg-shaped cakes in the freezer. We grabbed up enough cakes for our family and continued to shop.

Moments later the baker caught up to us and gave us stickers to put on our egg-shaped cakes so that they would be free. It really made my wife and I happy and it was great to see that an employee was empowered to fix what was a small mistake. This baker got what most executives don’t when he said “we want to keep you happy so that you keep coming back.” Smart, very smart.


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