This week on our Friends on Friday guest blog post, my fellow customer experience advocate Debbie Laskey writes how paying attention to the customer experience must be part of every business’ overall marketing strategy. –Shep Hyken Do you recall the TV show Cheers? Even if you never watched the show, you’ve probably heard about the […]
This week on our Friends on Friday guest blog post, my fellow customer experience advocate Debbie Laskey writes how paying attention to the customer experience must be part of every business’ overall marketing strategy. –Shep Hyken
Do you recall the TV show Cheers? Even if you never watched the show, you’ve probably heard about the character Norm. When he entered the neighborhood bar, everyone would yell a happy greeting by yelling his name, “NORM.” Whenever I think about that part of the show, I always smile. Who wouldn’t want that type of greeting and recognition?
I was a regular guest of a small mom-and-pop Italian restaurant near my home in Southern California for seven years. While the employees did not yell my name when I walked through the door, many servers knew me and my favorite dishes.
However, based on one recent experience – what I refer to as my worst restaurant experience ever – I will never return to this restaurant. From the moment my group and I walked in and said we did not have a reservation, the host rudely walked us to the table closest to the kitchen. Then, we were “blessed” with a waitress who clearly did not know the menu. When a straw was requested, she brought an opened straw to the table and slammed into my iced tea. Once another person delivered our food, she never returned to inquire if everything was okay. At the end of our meal, we ordered crème brulée, but the waitress brought us knives and forks. Who eats crème brulée with a knife and fork? We had to request spoons.
And lastly, we had to request our check several times. When it finally arrived, there was a mysterious $6 charge. Since there was nothing associated with the charge, we asked for an explanation. We asked the waitress, and when she did not return, we found and asked the manager. We waited 30 minutes AFTER WE FINISHED OUR MEAL for the bill to be corrected. At this point, you would think we might have been offered a discount on the check, or a free dessert for a future visit. Nothing was offered, and we never received an apology for the mysterious charge.
After I returned home, I was disappointed by the lack of service, so I visited the restaurant’s website to send my comments via a form or to find an email address. The Contact Page had a form with an error message, and there was no email address. So, I typed an old-fashioned letter and mailed it via snail mail. No response.
Fast forward a few months…I drove by the restaurant last night, and there were no lights on inside the restaurant and no tables outside. I parked by the restaurant and read the sign on the door. It read, “While we thank our guests for your patronage, we have sold our restaurant.” I was simultaneously surprised and not surprised. With such a blatant disregard for customer service and a lack of understanding as to the importance of the overall customer experience, this restaurant was destined to close its doors – it was just a matter of time. While during the early days, the owners and management rigorously trained all servers and employees, this high standard of service became less important or even nonexistent on the priority list.
But customer experience marketing must always be among the top priorities for businesses in all industries. We just notice the exceptional and miserable examples when the hospitality industry is involved – perhaps because we all want to be Norm from Cheers?
Let’s never forget the words of Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon. “We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.”
Have you experienced a similar situation and witnessed a positive turnaround by personnel? Please chime in and share.
Debbie Laskey is a brand marketing evangelist in Los Angeles. Her areas of focus are brand marketing, social media, employee engagement, leadership development, and customer experience marketing. She is the Director of Marketing at the Exceptional Children’s Foundation.
For more articles from Shep Hyken and his guest contributors go to customerserviceblog.com
Sign up for instant access to Shep’s research report on customer service and customer experience.
"*" indicates required fields
© 2023 Shepard Presentations, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Legal Information | Sitemap | Site by: digitalONDA
Legal Information | Sitemap Legap
Site by: digitalONDA