Friday, May 6, 2011

Lack of Customer Service Training

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Growing up in Southern California, my family made it a point to celebrate Cinco de Mayo every year. It also doesn't hurt to have your birthday two days before May 5th either... The celebrating still continues, right Lena?

Last night, a group of us celebrated Cinco de Mayo at a Mexican restaurant with their special Cinco de Mayo menu. We had a choice of soup or salad. The server told us that the soups tonight were a bean soup, albondigas, and tortilla, we all opted for the tortilla soup. The server serves us the tortilla soup AND then tells us that tortilla soup wasn't part of the special menu and that we would have to pay the extra for the substitution. I asked for the manager...First of all when the server tells us that tortilla soup is one of the options without a mention of additional charge, we shouldn't have to pay the extra. Even if a mistake was made on the offerings, it's better to swallow the extra cost and please the customer. The manager said we wouldn't be charged the extra.

Here's how I would've trained my staff to handle the error: I would've served the soups, explained that I made the mistake and tortilla soup isn't part of the special menu, but this time the soups are on me since I made the mistake. This way it doesn't put the customer on the defensive.

I went out for dinner not too long ago with some friends and headed to an Italian restaurant that has been in business for years. I haven't been here since I was in the entertainment industry, yes it's been that long ago. We ordered our entrees and also a mushroom pizza for all of us to share. The starters came and so did the pizza. After the server left, we realized that it was only cheese and no mushrooms. The server apologized and had mushrooms added to the other half of the pizza and was back in a few minutes. She said that dessert was on her for the mistake.
Now this is how the situation should be handled without the customer defending what they ordered, it's no big deal and I will return back to that restaurant.

Since customer service is so important to a business, most restaurants focus in on the food, why 85% of them fail the first year. We've all been to places where the food is just OK, but we go anyway because we like the friendly service or how they treat us. Food is only a small part of the equation and a clean restroom is a good first impression...

Thanks for following and would love to hear your comments...

3 comments:

Redo It GF said...

So true! My family owned a chain of restaurants while I was growing up. Dad always said it takes a combination of an inviting atmosphere, excellent customer service and good food.

MJC said...

I'm glad you understand customer service! Some restaurants don't get it. You are so right that if an error or misunderstanding is handled well I'll always remember how the restaurant came through abd will share the anecdote with others. Likewise, if the food is good but customer service lacking, it will factor into my decision of how soon I'll choose to eat there again!

Dharminder Kumar said...

Hey bro,

I really like your posts. I gain so much knowledge from this. And em waiting for your next post.


Customer Service Training