I have someone doing renovations on my house today, so I looked for somewhere close by with Wifi. I stumbled into Dunkin Donuts, bought a coffee, and setup my mini work station.
Within 5 minutes I noticed that the internet had cut out. It came back on, and then cut out again every 5 minutes or so – thus, it was difficult to get anything done. By nature, I have a quiet personality, but when a young employee was mopping the floor near my isolated work station in the corner, I had to ask (a bit sarcastic, but not angrily) – “does the internet normally cut out every 5 minutes or so?”
He replied “yeah, that’s normal here. I asked my boss about it but he’s too cheap to fix it.”
Before you write me off as being another spoiled twenty-something complaining about an insignificant slight-inconvenience, I couldn’t help but think about brand loyalty.
What made me come into this Dunkin Donuts in the first place? Was it because I love jelly donuts? No. It was because I recognized it as a nearby place where I could sip a coffee, and most importantly, use their Wifi for 3 hours without getting too many odd looks.
Apparently many others come into Dunkin Donuts (or Starbucks, or Tim Horton’s) for the same reason – hence, these companies bloating their advertising efforts with “FREE WI-FI!” and even going as far as having USB outlets run along the interior walls (I really should do this in my house).
Anyway, back to the manager who doesn’t want to fix the internet.
Maybe he is lazy and/or doesn’t care, or maybe corporate requires some sort of odd, expensive procedure that’s over my head. My point is, what are the chances of me coming back to this particular Dunkin Donuts in the future? I can literally see a Starbucks across the street, and there’s a Tim Horton’s that’s a couple of football fields away. Not only this particular location, but when I am traveling next week, and have all of these options at my disposal, where is my dollar going to go?
In hindsight, I probably should have looked into a local internet café and not somewhere that is likely more concerned about how many donuts they can stuff into our faces in order to meet a quarterly figure. But the familiar logo out on the road (read: brand awareness) sucked me in like a tractor beam.
That is my only point. I’m not trying to be a vigilante who is going to raise a burning torch outside of Mr. Dunkin’s mansion tonight, nor am I going to pretend that a giant corporation is going to lose sleep over my semi-inconvenienced morning. It simply made me think:
Do managers/business owners sometimes lose sight of the goal of their brand?
How well do you know your customer base and cater to their needs?
If your business is struggling, do you put serious thought into which expenses need to be sacrificed and which ones probably shouldn’t wait?
That said, how much is that router/wi-fi issue really costing Dunkin Donuts? (Note, I’m not looking for an actual number, I just wanted to sign off with a clichéd rhetorical question).