Kickstarter Lesson #254: Fried Chicken and Proactive Post-Delivery Service

12 November 2018 | 8 Comments

Last week I overheard something inspiring at a restaurant.

I was enjoyed fried chicken and a biscuit at Grace Meat + Three here in St. Louis. While I was eating, I heard someone approach the table behind me and say to the guests there, “Hey guys, I noticed that your meal may have taken longer than it should have. Everything okay?”

I turned around to see that it was the owner of the restaurant. The two men he was speaking already had their food on the table, so the owner wasn’t addressing a current issue–he was openly admitting that the food may have been a bit late. The guests said that they hadn’t even noticed.

This brief exchange has really stuck with me. It spoke volumes about the level of quality Grace strives to achieve. I particularly admire that the owner had something specific to ask the guests (instead of just asking, “How’s the food?”).

I’ve been trying to figure out what I learn from the experience, and I think I have it: Back when I was on Kickstarter, I would send project updates after rewards were delivered to check in with backers, mention any concerns, and provide some (hopefully) helpful information. My sense is that this was reassuring to backers–I didn’t stop caring about them just because they had their rewards in hand.

However, I haven’t really done this for my various post-Kickstarter product releases. Sure, I’m available to answer questions and address issues on social media and via e-mail, but that’s reactive service, not proactive. 

So I’ve decided to take up this practice again. Whenever we release a new product, after the initial wave of pre-orders have been delivered, I’m going to reach out to those customers to check in with them, offer some insights about getting started, and mention any concerns/solutions.

I can’t offer anything quite as delicious as Grace’s fried chicken, but hopefully I can provide the comfort and security conveyed by proactive post-delivery customer service.

I’m sure you’ve seen other creators, entrepreneurs, and business owners do this–do you have any memorable examples?

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8 Comments on “Kickstarter Lesson #254: Fried Chicken and Proactive Post-Delivery Service

  1. Reid Hoffmen talked about this exact thing with Danny Meyer, founder of Shake Shack, in his Masters of Scale podcast.

    “Danny made feeling – not food – his guiding principle. Other restaurants may focus
    on the menu, the ingredients, the wine list or the ambiance. Danny knew these things were
    important. But he also believed food and wine were nothing compared to how the experience
    made his customers feel.”

    But he himself lost this special approach in his early career when he opened his second restaurant. (his first being Union Square Cafe).

    “She said, “Why doesn’t this restaurant feel like Union Square Cafe?”

    And I said, “What do you mean?”

    And she said, “…Something happened that never would have happened at Union Square Cafe. …My salmon was overcooked.” And she said, “I mean, that’s happened at Union Square Cafe, but what happened next would never happen.”

    “What happened?”

    And she said, “…no one noticed.”

    As someone who works in food this could easily have been interpreted as customer entitlement. But Danny had set a standard with his first restaurant, a standard that put the customers feelings first and that didn’t wait for a complaint to motivate his staff to fix visible problems.

    I think its important that as companies transfer from a KS project based business model to a more sustainable and scaleable model, that they keep this is mind and do as you you suggest Jamey. If you want to stand out and keep your customers as excited about your product as they were when they were backing it on KS you need to continue to treat every customer like a backer.

    (BTW, in case anyone wants it, here’s a link to the full transcript of the episode, but you can also listen to it on Spotify, Apple, or Stitcher:

  2. I think that the proactive interaction is a sign that you actually done your homework so that you have time to do it. A lot of businesses seems to struggle just to keep up with all the regular support.

    As a day job I work with an automated testing system for set top boxes, it has been a extremely valuable tool to decrease regressions and strengthen the developers faith when refactoring large parts of the code base. It is really hard to measure anything else then complaints though, so we try hard to talk to people that don’t complain to find out the good parts. It turns out that people that don’t have a special complaint that they are irritated about can often take a step back and look at improvements on another level.

  3. Jamey, I know you are very active with videos, blogs, forums, etc., but someday (if you haven’t already thought about it), you should seriously write a book. You have a wealth of knowledge concerning board games and customer interaction, and it would be cool to see the culmination of your experiences nicely packaged in a book. And you are great at asking questions and always inviting new input!

      1. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. I don’t know how I missed it, but I’ll definitely be picking up a copy! Thanks for being a inspiration in the board game community.

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