How to Lose A Customer For A Lifetime
a new customer for a lifetime is a
terrible way to run a business.
just last week that's what happened
to my wife and me.
a new restaurant in Lakewood Ranch.
Lakewood Ranch is where we call home.
The name of the restaurant is "The
restaurant is about 2 miles door to
door from our home.
was Friday night and we arrived at
the restaurant at 6 PM. The place
was mobbed. When I asked how long
the wait was, I was told 20 to 25
turned out to be closer to 50 to 60
minutes - the wait time was doubled.
During our wait I ordered two glasses
of Kendall Jackson Chardonnay. They
delivered two glasses of Kendall Jackson
Sauvignon Blanc. My wife's favorite
glass of wine is the Kendall Jackson
a taste we called the server over
to explain what happened. After a
couple of, "I'm so sorry's"
my wife, B, finally got her favorite
advice is "Be slow to commit
and quick to deliver." You could
say this defines good customer service.
one has ever accused B. and me of
being very patient when it comes to
were sitting outside and were soon
overwhelmed with "Love bugs."
They hang around for 30 days and then
they're gone. So we found a place
to sit inside the restaurant.
walked over to the woman who was handling
reservations and seating and asked
her where we were in the queue. Her
response was, "I don't know because
I don't have a computer here."
asked, "Where is the computer?"
The woman responded and pointed to
the other end of the bar about 25
let me digress for a moment. We shop
at the Publix supermarket. Ask any
clerk where something is and they
will take you to the product no matter
where it is in the store.
my advice, "Be helpful, not helpless."
we get a table after waiting almost
ordered two more glasses of wine.
What are the odds of the same bartender
screwing up an order of Kendall Jackson
Chardonnay two times in one night
to the same couple? Well, you're right
he did it again.
server kept saying, "I'm so sorry,
I'm so sorry." Well I'm sorry
that she's sorry, but being sorry
didn't solve anything.
server then volunteers, "The
bartender is new."
ordered dinner. B orders the Pulled
Pork special. I ordered a salad wedge
and the fish and chips.
place is buzzing with busboys, servers,
managers, and even a general manager.
They're all wearing headsets. We spoke
to everybody after waiting for dinner
another 35 minutes.
there it was, a chorus of "I'm
sorry, I'm so sorry, I'm so very sorry."
no dinner. And then miraculously my
wife's dinner arrives.
mine though. No salad and certainly
no fish and chips.
wife finishes her dinner. 15 minutes
later my salad wedge arrives. I finished
eating the salad.
top of my head is about to explode.
I asked the server, who keeps on repeating
"I'm so sorry" to put my
dinner in a box and I'll take it home
general manager came over for the
third time to talk with us and said,
"We're doing the best we can!"
nobody in the world is doing the best
he can. Three geniuses, Einstein,
Schweitzer, and Edison once said they
never worked to more than 20% of their
I doubt very much the general manager
and his minions are doing the best
we got home and after I had my long
overdue dinner I took a pencil to
a sheet of paper. Did some quick math
and since we eat out several times
every week and go to our favorite
restaurants every month I estimate
the lifetime value of our business
is about $15,000 during the next 20
only good thing about our restaurant
experience is that I got a customer
service story out of it.
a new restaurant opens it's usually
pretty crowded. But guess what happens?
If the dining experience was excellent
the customers will be back. On the
other hand, if the dining experience
was worse than horrible they'll never
do so many restaurants keep going
out of business? It's because they
all make the same mistakes. In fact,
61% of all new restaurants fail within
my advice to anyone who is thinking
about opening a new restaurant.
and train your new staff.
the first 30 days only fill 50% of
the seats in your restaurant. Now
see what happens. The full staff is
now working to create a memorable
dining experience for all of your
customers. In the process your staff
would gain invaluable experience and
not be so over worked and challenged
by the mass of humanity that they
would have to say, "I'm sorry,
I'm so sorry, I'm so very sorry!"
you want a good reputation unleash
good food and great service from day
one. Otherwise you might lose your
new customer for a lifetime.
this is easy to say and very hard
alternative to providing good customer
service might be losing a new customer,
like me, for a lifetime.
Service - Quotes
helpful, not helpless.
It is not the employer who pays the
wages. Employers only handle the money.
It is the customer who pays the wages.
Well done is better than well said.
If you do build a great experience,
customers tell each other about that.
Word of mouth is very powerful.
Jeff Bezos, CEO Amazon.com
Customer satisfaction is worthless.
Customer loyalty is priceless.
Customer service is not a department,
it’s everyone’s job.
Sales Tips To Reinvent & Distinguish
Yourself From Your Competition
formats available - go here for details.
Return from Lose A Customer to Sales Articles