|Customer Expectations Go Beyond A Smile And A Nice Greeting
I threw a big birthday party for myself a while ago, inviting friends and family to celebrate with me. With so many people attending, I wanted to cut back on my load of work so I ordered some sandwich platters from a local restaurant where I frequently eat because of its excellent food and service.
I ordered an assortment of sandwiches from them with the full expectation of them living up to their usual excellence. They were delivered just an hour before the party and were served within two hours of their arrival at the party.
Imagine my dismay when I saw the sandwiches and they were not aesthetically pleasing. Many of the sandwiches looked as though they were falling apart. The only thing that held them together, were the toothpicks that looked as though young children had made them. I was embarrassed, but having no alternative, went ahead and put them out.
Because I was so busy talking with my guests, I didn’t get to eat. However, later after all my guests had left and I mentioned to my daughter how disappointed I was by the way the platters looked, she told me that in addition to the looks, the sandwiches were soggy. Hearing that, I tried one and to my dismay, it was overly salty.
What a shame that the restaurant, having an opportunity to impress a large number of people with the quality of their product, didn’t take enough care to make sure the presentation as well as the product were top quality.
When I placed the order the staff were easy to work with, they were pleasant to me, they were polite and friendly, but the product itself didn’t live up to my expectations.
This is why I emphasize the importance of customer expectations not only in how you deliver your product but also its quality. I was disappointed because my experience with them up to that point had been outstanding. As a result of that one incident, I won’t be using them for my future parties. I can’t help but wonder if others at the party will be turned off to using them as well.
They will lose business just because they didn’t take the additional time to make the presentation attractive and prevent the deterioration of the product.
Consistency in all aspects of dealing with the customer is necessary for the customer’s satisfaction.
Margo Chevers, author of the book STOP the BS (bad service), has been providing sales and customer service seminars to a diverse cross-section of industries for the past 19 years. To receive her free 10 top tips for exceptional customer service, call (800) 858-0797 or email Margo@MargoChevers.com.
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© 2006 Margo Chevers