Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Customer's Reaction on Customer Service

How would you have reacted if Customer Service provided at a restaurant was not what you had expected even though you have been a regular customer of that restaurant?

Many companies, shops and services have avenues for customers to lodge complains against bad treatments/services received/provided by their staff but what about avenue for staff who had been treated unfairly by a customer instead.

Following is what happened at a restaurant which was about to open for business:-

It was just after 11am, and a female customer walked into the restaurant with her two children. She is a regular customer who often comes with her husband, who was parking the car today. The woman said: "I want my usual seat."

The receptionist explained: "This is just after 11am, and we do not have a full staff yet. Your usual seat is back in the farthest corner of the restaurant, and we will not be able to serve your properly." The customer said, "I don't get it. I am a good customer and you won't give me my usual seat. Well, if that's how it is, then I want this other table in front here."

At that particular table, the waiters and waitresses were quickly eating their lunch at the time so that they can start work soon. The receptionist explained: "Our workers are eating right now. We cannot just tell them not to eat anymore and make way for your party. I am sure that you appreciate the difficulty. We will be happy with any of your other choice of table in the front of the restaurant."

The customer huffed and puffed a bit, and sat down near the front entrance. Several minutes later, her husband showed up and asked her: "Why are you sitting here? Why can't we get our usual table?" The same explanation was offered, and there were some more rounds of abuse heaped upon the receptionist.

Then the husband decided that he was wasting his time in talking to a receptionist. He said, "There is no point in talking to you. I need to speak to the highest level of management in this restaurant." So the restaurant manager was summoned, and another round of explanation was made.

Here are some choice words from the husband to the manager: "You don't look like a restaurant manager ... you have a haircut in the style of street punks (="teddy boys") ... I cannot believe this restaurant chain would hire a street punk as the manager ... if this restaurant chain hires people like you as managers, they will be bankrupt before too long ... "

And then there was the final threat: "I had signed up for a frequent diner club before, but I want to cancel the card immediately." The manager explained that he was willing to oblige. However, club membership was premised upon paying HK$300 in cash in exchange for HK$300 in coupons.

If a customer wishes to cancel club membership, he needs to return the coupons before he receives the HK$300 in cash back. This particular customer had already used his coupons. When he heard the explanation, the customer said: "Give me the telephone number of your company headquarters right now because I intend to file a complaint against you and your restaurant ... do you know that I am a solicitor? ... you should be expecting to receive a legal letter from my office shortly ..."

Before the customer even made that telephone call, the manager had already called the company headquarters about the incident. This occurred several days ago, but the solicitor's letter has not been sent yet.
Is the customer always right?
Tags: Customer Service, The Customer Is Always Right, Regular Customer



Blogger sollee said...

i've seen also some incidents wherein those who served were embarrased by some abusive customers..most of the time the customers demand too much..for them the money that they paid should be compensated well..but we must be careful and we must not humiliate others just to get what we want..we are too arrogant and demanding at times..i really felt sorry to a receptionist once..she was embarrassed by a customer just because of a spoon that was mistakenly given..just because of that , a customer shouted harsely at a receptionist..i hope that lady had realized her big mistake...she should have apoligized to that poor receptionist...why do we have to treat people like that?..the customer is not always right..

03 October, 2007 18:03  
Anonymous jane said...

some people are just so unreasonable. in m'sia, ppl are too pampered and expect good services in self-service outlets as well.. n some just wanna show power. *roll eyes*

03 October, 2007 18:57  
Blogger Johnny Ong said...

i have seen ppl complaining but not to the extent of a shouting match. i had complained b4 also but it won't demean ppl. just solely on the services/products.

05 October, 2007 11:20  
Anonymous purplefly community said...

some people expected some "king" style of services and tend to being too demanding. I have seen alot of shouting cases in restaurant especially china and HK. wonder where's the root of our verture!!

05 October, 2007 18:07  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is bad service and bad business. It would have cost nothing to let the customer have the table they wanted except for a little extra effort from the staff. Because the staff are too lazy this business has lost repeat custom in a highly competitive market.

17 October, 2007 14:38  
Blogger Johnny Ong said...

i hav seen some food outlets where their biz is so good but the service is so poor but yet ppl still go there, how come?

17 October, 2007 15:08  

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