How “Pret a Manger” turned a bad CX into a great CX

I have a morning routine… Leave home > take the bus to the tube station > take the tube to the City > buy a croissant at Pret > go to the office > make a tea > eat the croissant while running through the email inbox.

The morning of Aug 5 wasn’t different… until, on the second to last bite, I found a big hair in my croissant. Wooow! Disgusting! It ruined my breakfast and my morning. I had to tweet and complain about it. So that’s exactly what I did.

@Pret Not sure this is the best way to start the day. A big hair inside my croissant! 😦

I must say that the reaction and response to my complain tweet surprised me.


Pret reacted in a few hours, apologised straight away in public, and tried to take the follow up conversation offline – which is exactly what the social customer service best practices advises. So I sent the DM with my email address and the Pret’s shop location. Within a few minutes the response was there, thanking and advising me that the Customer Service team was informed and would take over.

They surely did, another few minutes and I received an email (with attached incident reference #) apologising again, thanking me for giving them the opportunity to put things right, making me aware of the steps and procedures of the investigation, and advising they would be in touch soon. A few days later they got in touch again, via email. Funnily enough the same customer service rep from the initial conversation. Joanna apologised again, told me that the investigations were complete, and the shop’s manager and team were contacted guaranteeing that it would not happen again – once more, exactly what best practices advises: quick, positive, honest, transparent and diligent customer service.

To make it even better, Pret took a gesture of goodwill… ”I realise that these actions do not detract from the distress and disappointment you have experienced and so I would like to send you a £15.00 Pret Card by way of an apology for this unpleasant incident (…) thank you again for taking the time to contact us and for giving us the opportunity to try and put things right. Considering the circumstances, I really appreciate your calm and constructive feedback”.

Two weeks ago, if anyone had ask me what I thought of Pret, I would have said that they are ok and have nice sandwiches. Today, and after finding a hair in my croissant, I’m writing an email praising them! Proving that a good customer service can have a huge impact in the overall perception and customer experience. And has the power of turning a good customer or a loyal customer into an advocate, even when things go wrong.

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