The Art of Customer Service

It’s funny (and yet sad) to see how employees can offer up customer service to consumers who visit their business establishments. Recently I had lunch at one of my favorite restaurants, Qdoba in St. Louis, (the Arnold Store). It was a couple of days past my Birthday, and the good folks at Qdoba had sent me a “FREE” burrito coupon in recognition of my Birthday. Unfortunately I did not print the coupon out before I left for lunch, so I quickly pulled up the offer on my iPhone and showed it to the manager at the cash register. Immediately the manager in charge snapped at me and told me she would NOT honor my Birthday coupon since I had failed to print it out. I asked about Qdoba going “Green,” and helping conserve paper and our environment and why she could not honor my Birthday offer when she could easily see all the details. She snapped again, and this time in a more hateful and aggressive tone. I was floored at her attitude, and as I sat and ate my burrito (which by the way I paid for) I promised myself that I would not visit this Qdoba store again.

As I ponder this person’s attitude for how they handled this situation, I was reminded of how many businesses “lose” business because of an employee’s dumb attitude and poor customer service. Because of this, I developed this week’s sales meeting on “Customer Service.” My questions and goals for the meeting are to help managers work with their team members on how they can provide excellent customer service. The meeting is based from the book, “The New Gold Standard – 5 Leadership Principles for Creating a Legendary Customer Experience Courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company,” by Joseph A. Michelli, McGraw Hill Publisher.

As our economy continues to go through slow and challenging times, it’s important for all employees to remember that “Customer Service” is critical, and the life-blood for many organizations. Why argue over a $6.00 burrito and someone’s Birthday coupon, even though they didn’t print it out? Here’s an idea, (and GREAT customer service) have me forward the e-mail from my iPhone to the manager’s company e-mail account so she could print it out in the back? Oh well, I’ll drive another 10 minutes to the South County or Fenton locations and enjoy my Qdoba burrito in the future. J



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