It was the middle of December, right before the Christmas break, when my wife and I went out for dinner with friends to celebrate a birthday. Getting out of the house is a big event for both of us. Having 2 young children keeps our lives pretty busy, and we were looking forward to having a night away from our day-to-day activities.

When we got to the restaurant, we all ordered food. My wife had specifically told the waitress how she wanted her meal cooked. The order, unfortunately, came out wrong. Not a huge deal, but the way it was handled, was a big deal. The waitress had no apologies, and stated that the cook did not speak good English. If that made any sense at all, she did not offer to fix the situation or remotely apologize.

My wife didn’t eat a bite that night, and then we received the bill. There were no discounts, and she didn’t take the item off the menu. When we fought it with disgust, the waitress came back with a 10% discount off her meal. Not 10% off the bill, but off the meal. 10%! !! Are you kidding me? We complained to management and she looked at us with a blank face and didn’t apologize either. 10% off the item is what it was going to be; like it or not.

Needless to say, we will not be going back to that restaurant again! There are a lot of things in life I can tolerate, but bad customer service is not one of them. Customer Service is essential. The success of an organization relys on how they treat people. It is okay to make a mistake, but it is important to correct the mistake, not to ignore it. The next time you offer bad customer service in any profession, here are 5 things to consider:

  1. Word Spreads – If you have a bad experience, chances are that you will tell others and they won’t want to do business with you.
  2. People Work Hard For Their Money- If you go to a rock concert, and the band doesn’t give 110% every night, people notice, and chances are that will hurt your success. If the band gives everything they have, you will have a satisfied customer, and they will want to tell others about their experience. It is no different in a business, treat every customer like they deserve to be treated. They are spending money on your product. Give them what they deserve.
  3. Others Will Offer Excellent Customer Service – Where would you want to go? Who would you do business with? Would you rather do business with someone who treats you well, or someone who doesn’t? Even if you come back with the same product, someone who treats someone with respect, and offers better customer service will always have more customers.
  4. You Can’t Have Your Cake At Eat It Too! So what? You make a little more money on the a sale. You have done everything you need to get your money. What if you need them in the future? Do you think they are going to be willing to help you out? Forget about it.
  5. Repeat Business Is The Key It isn’t about today, but tomorrow. So you have sold me this time. Fool me once, you aren’t going to fool me again.

The next time you have a customer, treat it as it is the most important thing that ever walked on this planet. It does make a difference; people do notice. The ones that offer the best customer service experience come out the true winners! Don’t let your company become a casualty because of poor employees, poor management, and a poor overall customer service experience! Think of it as if it were you as the customer. How would you want to be treated?