Sunday, 31 January 2010

How important is Customer Service?

Yesterday I went out for lunch something I don't get chance to do every week because of the family and work so I look forward to it went I do get a chance, as I suppose do others?

I was meeting with Claire Young who you may know from the TV show The Apprentice and although Claire is familiar with York she isn't as familiar with places to eat so I said I would book us in somewhere.

I was there first so I sat at the bar and got a drink and when Claire and her friend Wendy arrived we asked to be seated at our table. After sitting we waited for someone to come back to ask us if we wanted a drink and to give us our menus...and waited. Eventually we had to ask the waitress to come, she did and took drinks orders and then went to get the menus. We decided what we wanted and waited for someone to come back to take the order...and waited. We again asked a waiter to come over to take our order which he did but had to explain that what we wanted had sold out, so we quickie re-thought and gave our order and we were served with our starters a short time later....then we waited. After around twenty minutes we asked the waiter when our mains would be coming, he did answer us but none of us actually understood what he said as he walked away whilst talking to us, so ....we waited. They did turn up around ten minutes later. We enjoyed our food and then asked a waitress to bring our bill over. We all quickly decided not to tip as the service had really let the place down.

Good food and great company was spoiled by the customer service, the place wasn't incredibly busy and even if it had been a quick explanation would have been enough to help us understand.

It left me wondering how important customer service is because I was always taught it was key to everything? In my world even when my parents had the Guest house we were taught to say hello, please and thank you and do our utmost for the visitors. I suppose you could say its inbred in me but surly after spending so much time on making a place look fabulous and the food good customer service should be a priority to keep customers coming in? Or doesn't it matter anymore?

I read this article which talks about the real cost of customer service to companies; perhaps our chosen restaurant should read it?

If you are interested as to where we went for lunch, just let me know.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm with you - customer service is a Big Deal to me. I worked in the restaurant business for about 7 years in my early adulthood. It is very tough work, but not so hard that you can't give your customers the attention they deserve. Of course there are times when you have as many as 4 or 5 wait staff that call in sick and you're "in the weeds" as they say in the restaurant business, which makes it difficult to give your customers the service they deserve. However, I still feel that's no excuse, or rather it is an excuse, and not a good reason, for poor service. It takes but couple of minutes to let your customers know why their orders may take a bit longer than usual, and they deserve that much at least. When I had these days, I always offered a free drink or dessert, (which I would pay for out of my own pocket), if they did receive their orders late, or if I didn't get to give them the attention they should've had. I was always tipped well, even if the food ended up being horrid for whatever reason, simply because I took the time to be courteous.
Now, some, ahem, many years later, my husband always dreads going to dinner with me because if we don't get good service I not only make it known, I offer tips on how to provide that service. But I do tip well, when it's deserved.
Like your site by the way.