Article: “Focusing on the customer experience” (Mar.2006)

note: to preface this excerpt, the restaurant owner had just purposely provided a poor dining experience to this group, and is talking to them the next day.

"The owner brought a stool into the room and sat down. "Before we serve your appetizers, I have to thank you all. In my many years as a restaurateur, I have never learned so much as I did last night."  

"But the thing that we could not understand. The thing that was so confusing and so enlightening at the same time, was that no matter what we did, not one of you complained."

"Now, I know that you are here at the command of your boss and he is paying the bill so you didn’t want to insult him or his choice of restaurants. But nobody should have to endure what we put you through last night. And now we know that as good as we may think we are and as wonderful as we think our little restaurant might be, if there is something wrong – nobody will tell us! So we must be especially careful and observant. Otherwise we are simply fooling ourselves."

link: "Focusing on the customer experience" by Jim Sterne (Internet Travel News, Mar. 6,2006) 

WaiterBell Angle: The article itself is focused on web sites being "customer-centric", however the exercise with the restaurant highlights an interesting question for restaurants. How can restaurants get trustworthy and reliable customer feedback? The example in the article shows how unlikely customers are willing to complain about poor service.

The WaiterBell system helps eliminate some of the reasons why customers may leave a restaurant dissatisfied and not come back. The WaiterBell system is a proactive way for restaurants to increase customer satisfaction, instead of being reactive when a customer complains about inattentive table service, or worse yet, never even having a chance to react or "save the customer" because the customer never says anything.


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