They WILL go out of business. Here’s a story about customer service. Or the massive lack of it…
I went to pick up my pizza that I ordered by phone. My intentions are to bring home a hot, fresh pizza and garlic cheese bread. I arrive just in time to see the pizza get put up on the warming counter. “Awesome” I think to myself. Good timing. Now it’s time to pay. So, I hand the cashier lady a 100-dollar bill. Yes, I know it’s weird to pay cash…but my wife and I are doing an experiment for a few months. Seeing if we can save more by using cash and a budget. And you know what? I like paying with cash better. I’m more aware of what I’m spending versus just swiping a card. Anyhoo…
The cashier said, “Oh, I still don’t have my till.” And then, asked the owner who was talking to a couple of people, to come over because she needed him to get the till along with enough cash to give me change. He did not hurry. In fact, he made it seem like it wasn’t a big deal to make me wait and wait and wait…while my food (now in front of me) began decreasing in internal temperature. I was expecting, “Oh gosh. Sorry sir, I’ll be RIGHT BACK with your change.”
Instead, he sauntered back to his office somewhere to get the till and my change. The cashier/server looked at me and said, “We’ll get this figured out.” I smiled back. At least 2 minutes pass. Then the waitress says, “I’ll go see what’s holding him up.” I wait at least another 2 minutes. Probably more. Then, the kitchen door swings open and I’m expecting to see my change. Nope. It’s the cashier, empty-handed. She said, he’ll be out in just a moment. I said, “Can you please put my pizza back up on the “warmer”? It’s just sitting here getting cold.” She did. I think she just understood what I might be thinking. She stepped into my shoes finally, and realized that this was not very stellar customer service. She sighed and went back to find her boss, the owner.
She came back out, without my change. She said, he’ll be out in 2 minutes, he’s just finishing counting up the till. So, this guy hadn’t even got the till ready for the day – and it was 11:45 in the morning. So I waited. More than 2 minutes.
Finally, the owner comes out with the till and a stack of 5′s and 1′s. He grabbed one 20 and two 10s from the till, then uses the 5s and 1s to count me out the other 40 he owes me. No apology yet. Still acting slow and non-concerned with my cold pizza and garlic cheese bread. I eventually get my change. He says, “Sorry about that.” But didn’t seem real sincere. Ahhhhhhh!!!
Doesn’t a business reflect an owner’s attitude? I think so. My prediction: they will go out of business before the year’s end. They’ve been open for business for a couple of years, and I think they were different enough to get some good business during their honeymoon period. But with a business owner like this, and plenty of other places for me to go for pizza…this place won’t last much longer. Which is sad.
First, I started thinking that I just had more and more bad luck when it came to “customer service”. But then, I realized that I was a nice guy. It usually takes a lot to irritate me, and I can overlook a lot of little things. So…what is happening? My bad customer service experiences isn’t bad luck…it’s because there is MORE and MORE bad businesses dishing out bad customer service. It’s all around us. What used to be a rare occurrence 10 or 15 years ago, is now an every day, almost every transaction occurrence. Bad service is all over. The business owners who don’t “get it” are multiplying like rabbits. Is there a school cranking out these people?
Advertising will not help this business. Well it will…it will just help them go out of business faster.
What’s the answer? Look internally first. Do you need to fix something INSIDE your walls? Maybe you need to hire a superstar manager if you can’t see what needs to be done. Maybe you need to start weekly training and education sessions with your staff. Actually, if you’re not implementing an ongoing training program, start today!
If you provide service that your customers EXPECT…then you’ll have a good chance of staying in business and making a profit.
If you provide service that EXCEEDS your customers’ expectations…then you’ll have a good chance of blowing the doors off of your competition.
Was my food cold when my family sat down to eat? Yes it was. Was the cheese on my garlic cheese bread, hard? Yes it was. It used to be one of my favorite pizza joints. It’s not anymore. There are probably a lot of others who feel the same way.
Have a great day!
I’m a marketing guy and ad writer. This isn’t just about better ads either, it’s also about a strategy to set you apart and help you be remembered (in a good way). I write this marketing blog because I’m on a mission to help you get more from your advertising bucks. I also wrote a a no-nonsense book about how to take a bigger slice of market share with better advertising. It’s called “Take a Bigger Slice”.