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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

When the Customer Experience Is Less Than Satisfying…

Written by  Duane Bailey

I ordered take-out pizza for the family the other night. It was late, I was in a hurry and we were all really hungry.

When I arrived to pick up my pizza, I paid my bill and was handed my receipt. The first thing I noticed was the spelling of my name – Dwan. It wasn’t even close to being right. I was in a hurry and didn’t even give it a second thought.

The cashier handed me my pizza. I grabbed the pizza, got in my car and drove home.

It wasn’t until I got home and my son opened the box that I realized I had been given the wrong pizza. I drove back to the restaurant and told the cashier what had happened. Strangely enough, they acted as if this happened all the time. No big deal, they said, as they took back the one I was returning. As it turned out, the pizza I had ordered was still there.

For a family-run restaurant whose website touts their dedication to excellence in service, I was a little surprised at the response I had received. It wasn’t until I had mentioned the inconvenience of having to make two separate trips before the manager had apologized and offered to pay for my next pizza. I accepted his apology – and the credit – and still left feeling less than satisfied with my experience there.

It got me thinking about another recent experience I had with a local restaurant. To be sure, mistakes happen...all the time. What differentiates the truly remarkable businesses from the ordinary ones is how they recover from their mistakes. The truly remarkable organizations empower their people to make things right before the customer even has a chance to ask. Even when mistakes are made, their customers still manage to leave with a satisfying experience.

Duane Bailey

Duane Bailey

Duane Bailey is a regular contributor to The Chief Storyteller® online conversation. He has helped organizations of all sizes drive growth in revenues and market share through the development and delivery of key business messages that resonate with target audiences. He holds an MBA in International Business and a BS in Marketing. He brings 28 years of experience in marketing communications and high technology sales.

Website: www.TheChiefStoryteller.com E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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