Article: “Excuses don’t fix problem” (Apr.2006)

excerpt:
"…It wasn't our fault. It's not like we have bugs back there,'' he said, referring to the kitchen.

Did this manager get any customer service training at all?

What happened to resolving a problem rather than causing one?

After all, good customer service is vital to a business' success, especially in highly competitive industries such as restaurants.

But this manager must have forgotten that.

"I felt worse after he came over,'' my colleague told me. "All I wanted was an `I'm sorry. This is horrible, it shouldn't have happened.' I didn't want excuses.

"I wasn't mad before he came over. I know those things can happen. But after he came over, his attitude just totally turned me off. Quite frankly, I probably won't go there again"

…"At the very least, he should have acknowledged `Mea culpa, it was our fault.' You don't blame the vendors. You don't blame anybody. You say, `We made a mistake. We want to make it right because we respect you as a customer.' It's as simple as that.''

The manager not only messed up by shifting blame and making excuses, but he also lost out on future sales because now we all had that bad experience, Spector said. People are more likely to share with others a negative experience than a positive one, the Seattle-based author said.

Instead, managers can take a bad situation and use the opportunity to make it right, he said."

source: "Excuses don't fix problem" by Betty Lin-Fisher (The Beacon Journal, Apr.30,2006) 

WaiterBell Angle: This is a good restaurant case study of how a bad situation is an opportunity to leave a positive impression. Often customers will not give a restaurant this opportunity, or even a reason, and walk out the door. WaiterBell helps prevent a service gap from turning a meal into a negative experience by sitting unobtrusively on the table, always ready. When a customer uses WaiterBell, your waitstaff can turn a customer need into an opportunity to enhance their dining experience. 

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