Not long ago, I had lunch with a friend at a local restaurant. I had visited this restaurant several months earlier and was disappointed that half the items listed on the menu were unavailable. I tried several times to order something, only to be told they were “out.”
How a restaurant can be “out” of much of the food listed on the menu was difficult for me to wrap my head around.
This time, I opted to give the restaurant another chance since this was my friend’s first time there and it was her choice.
Sadly, we had a repeat of the earlier challenge. By my third request, I asked the server to make it easier on us and simply tell us what, out of the list, they had available.
Our server was friendly, and she said she would mention something to the manager and owner about our situation and the fact that I had gone through this before. Later, she said the manager was offering us complimentary chocolate—four small pieces.
I can be bribed with chocolate—it’s true. But the owner never once approached us to have a conversation (she walked by our table twice). The owner did not offer a direct apology. The owner did not make a personal effort to try to make her customers happy. Instead, she sent the poor server.
Admittedly, as a customer, I wasn’t angry, but disturbed that the owner was indifferent to the needs of her customers.
As a business owner and president of my company, I want to attend to the needs of my clients and make sure that they are pleased with the results of whatever I’m delivering. Whether it’s a project we’re working on, or a phone conversation, I never want my client to walk away feeling annoyed. And I would never have someone else run interference. It is my sole responsibility to keep my clients happy.
If you run a business, take responsibility to keep your clients and customers satisfied. We cannot please everyone, but our attempts to fix the problem, or at the very least, come to a mutual compromise, will leave a positive feeling of you and your organization in their minds.
As customers, we want the product we buy to be what we expect. But even if it isn’t, what we remember is how we were treated and how the problem was tackled. We want to experience positive results, which include the service.
I won’t return to this restaurant. And by the looks of the empty tables when we were there during the lunch hour, others aren’t returning either.