Your Best Marketing is Running a Good Business – Customer Service Edition

September 24, 2013

Recently, I was chatting with a friend who was very frustrated with service she had received. As I was listening to her rant (she was pretty upset), it reminded me that a company’s best marketing is running a good business. A good business provides good customer service.  Here’s the opposite…

My girlfriend had a long night ahead of her, and she decided to get some carry out from a restaurant she hadn’t been to before (it had only been open for a few weeks). They were running a special, and she thought to try them out. She called and asked the lady on the phone would it be faster to order over the phone, or in store. The lady said, ‘If you come here, you’ll stand in line at least 45 minutes, take out is a 20 minute wait’. Pretty simple decision, wouldn’t you say?

So, she got there a few minutes early and noticed many people had the same idea she had, but thought nothing of it. They told her 20 minutes-they should know how long it will take to have her food ready, right? Twenty extra minutes goes by …she’s already paid and is now getting antsy. How long does it take to make tacos? They offered free drinks to her and the other patrons, and she drank three sodas, before the luster of a free drink wore off. She watched the line of people ordering to eat in go at a steady pace, and wondered how it could be that the people waiting in line (out the door, mind you), could have already gotten their food, eaten, and left, as she still stood, 45 minutes later, waiting for her food. She asked the Manager what the issue was, and he of course, gave her lip service. An hour into the wait, furious and no longer hungry, she asked for a refund. They promptly gave her her food and a free meal ticket for a future visit with an excuse that ‘Taco Tuesdays are very busy.’ Needless to say, she ate her not so great tacos, and ended up working much later than she intended, with a deep dissatisfaction.

This restaurant should have known better. In an age where Yelp rules, businesses need to realize how customer service (and service in general) is so important. If their ‘Taco Tuesday’ really is that busy, the employee should have told my friend that. “Ma’am, you should know there is at least a 45 minute wait on carry out orders”. My friend could have taken her time (and gotten some work done) as she waited.  They keep this up and ‘Taco Tuesday’ won’t be very busy at all.

Being upfront with your customers, regardless of the information being positive or negative, keeps your clients in the know. Leaving a first impression such as this is a business killer. No amount of marketing can save you!

There are so many mistakes this business made, that could have easily been avoided. How would you approach dissatisfactory service or a disgruntled customer and appease their needs?


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