Do you love watching those movies where the main character is faced with overwhelming odds to ultimately taste victory in the end?
Debbi Fields’ story follows this same script. And the customer experience plays a key role.
Humble beginnings, four older sisters, a woman wanting to become an entrepreneur, being told to give it up, and ultimately building one of the nation’s most visible, successful dessert empires – Mrs. Fields.
Warm Brand Awareness
Fields name is associated with warm, freshly baked cookies right out of the oven. Today, Mrs. Fields enjoys the highest aided brand awareness in the industry and sells products at over 300 retail locations globally and online.
Debbi Fields epitomizes the American dream. She is one of the few innovators and entrepreneurs to see their name become a product brand symbol of quality that is known and revered worldwide.
Watch Debbi’s Interview
After her keynote at Call Center Week Winter I asked her on Facebook Live (watch it here) about something that was the cornerstone of her message.
During her keynote you learn how, what she shares in my interview, allowed her to earn more than 25 years of entrepreneurial, operational and managerial experience in a company she built from scratch.
At the age of 20, Debbi was a young housewife with no business experience. Yet, she had a dream, a recipe and a passion for sharing her chocolate chip cookies.
Never giving up
She persevered and finally found the right bank to finance her business concept – which had never before been proven and which appeared on the surface to have little likelihood of success.
She opened her doors to the public in Palo Alto, California on August 16, 1977, as Mrs. Fields Chocolate Chippery.
Debbi shared in her keynote that the store opened but no customers showed up. Determined not to quit, she took her fresh baked cookies out on the street and gave away free cookies which drew them into the store.
She ended up exceeding her first day sales goal and never looked back.
Debbi also shared how she was very focused on the customer experience and continually tested out new concepts and recipes.
She shared how she would put as much chocolate into her cookies as she could. She said I put in as much as I could before they fell apart.
She also said that she put in as much butter as she could. She only used the best ingredients because she wanted the Mrs. Fields cookie experience to be the best cookie experience of all. She wanted lifelong customer loyalty.
Customer experience driven
Fields’ personal values guide her role as a businesswoman. Her philosophy of excellence, stated in her motto of “Good Enough Never Is,” is mirrored in a company that has earned a reputation for providing the best in product quality and superior customer service.
Mrs. Fields Cookies, a $450 million company was sold in the early 90’s to an investment firm and is now part of Famous Brands International which also owns TCBY (The Country’s Best Yogurt).
Famous Brands is a portfolio company of Z Capital Partners, L.L.C. (“Z Capital Partners”), the private equity management arm of Z Capital Group, L.L.C. (“Z Capital”), a leading global alternative investment manager with approximately $2 billion of regulatory assets under management.
Jim Rembach is the Editor in Chief of the Customer Service Weekly and it’s Podcast host. He is President of CX Global Media and the creator of the Call Center Coach Virtual Leaders Academy. As the host of the Fast Leader Show Podcast, he has interviewed hundreds of experts, authors, academics, researchers, and practitioners on various angles, viewpoints, and perspectives for improving the customer experience. He has held positions in retail operations, contact centers, customer support, customer success, sales, and measured the customer experience. He is a certified Emotional Intelligence practitioner, Employee Retention Specialist, and recipient of numerous industry awards.