Monday, February 27


We celebrated my dad's 60th birthday this weekend at a local restaurant. Happy Birthday Dad!

Photo courtesy of:

This restaurant has been a staple for our family as it has locations across Middle Tennessee. But the quality of the food has diminished over the last year. My mom and I had the same terrible seafood dish. The waitress was amazing so we really didn't say anything to her because, after all, she didn't cook it.

Once we were ready to check out, the cashier asked, "how was everything tonight?," in a scripted voice as if to expect the same, "good" or "fine" response. And I leveled honestly. "It was terrible. The quality of food is not the same." He looked stunned and puzzled as if he did not know what to say or how to respond.

He fumbled to look for a radio to get the manager and acted panicky. Had no one else received bad food? Did I do the wrong thing by not complaining to the waitress?

Businesses often become conditioned to act and respond the same way to every customer interaction. What happens is that they miss the most critical opportunity to receive incredible customer feedback because the responses do not fit in their regular pattern or sequence. Rather than greeting and bidding farewell to customers like an assembly line, encourage your staff to have regular conversations with your customers. The customers will appreciate the authenticity, and your business will likely discover opportunities for improvement.

By the way, had they been concerned at this restaurant last night, they would have discovered that the cook put ENTIRELY too many green onions on the dish. Something simple to fix if they were willing to accept honest feedback.

What experiences have you had like this? What advice can you give to businesses?

1 comment:

  1. Hi Brock,
    Found you via Twitter ... you're right about the response. It's the same when people say "Good morning, how are you?" - we've grown to expect a mechanical response and when faced with the reality of the truth, we freeze like a deer in headlights. I think everyone has experienced this 'level of customer experience', not only in public but amongst their friends, coworkers and family.

    It'll take a conscious effort for human kind to look you in the eye when they ask "how are you", wait for what comes next and then prepare for an actual conversation.

    Good post and hopefully an eye opener for everyone ...