Friday, March 16, 2007

Seattle's Best, SXSW & The Employee Loyalty Deposit

Well for those of you who kept emailing me this past week to quit partying and hob knobbing and get to work....I did just that today I am happy to report. However it was in the commission of this work that I witnessed a first hand SXSW Seattle's Best Ripple and I just had to share it.

I was scheduled to have a meeting at our downtown Seattle's Best with a colleague and someone that she was introducing me to. As is my custom, I always arrive a minimum of 30 minutes early to any meeting I have downtown because Austin traffic is very unpredictable; more so because of the SXSW Conference and Music festival going on through this weekend.

Well I walked into the Seattle's Best location downtown where our meeting was to take place and found a very nice young man happily greeting me behind the counter. As you know I always perk up and appreciate someone who is exceptionally attentive to customers (especially when it is me) and I decided to chat the young lad up a bit. I asked him if they had been absolutely overwhelmed with business given the SXSW hustle and bustle? He happily replied that they had in fact been very busy, actually "slammed at times" but it was "all good" as he cheerfully handed me my tall dark roast. You have to love it when someone has a positive attitude about receiving business...especially in the retail industry.

I noticed he had a SXSW music band on so I inquired if he had seen any good shows. He said he had made several shows last night but was really saving his energy for the next few days when he would be off and able to stay out for some of the later shows. Then he told me something that actually floored me and made me an even bigger fan of Seattle's Best (SB) than I had been previously.

He explained that SB had allowed him and two of his co-workers to work their way to Austin so that they could attend SXSW activities and still get their hours (and pay) in by working at one their Austin locations. This was the third year he had attended SXSW and simply loves coming and serving Austin customers and experiencing our great city.

He went on to explain that SB truly "get's their employees" and does special things like allowing them to transfer temporarily to locations where concerts or special events are happening. They do whatever they can to accommodate their people so they can pursue their lifestyle interests.

Totally fascinating!

This guy was truly passionate about SB. I learned he had worked there for five years and despite originally thinking it would be a stop-gap job, he has successful made a career choice to work there for at least the next several years. You would have to assume that the effort that SB has made on his behalf to accommodate his desire to see SXSW these past few years only serves to increase his loyalty and make him a happier more engaged worker. If his demeanor this morning is any indication then this strategy is working flawlessly and the positive Ripples it is creating are likely too large to measure.

If you run a company what could you being doing to copy what SB is doing to generate the kind of loyalty and employee satisfaction that obviously is working to their brand advantage?

Way to go Seattle's Best!!!

Ripple On!!!


P.S. We are making a push to grow our Yahoo Ripple Community! Are you signed up?


No comments: