I Got Served and I Wanted Magic!

I got served and I was not happy. I don’t blame my server, she did exactly what she was supposed to do. She took my order, refilled my glass, and even gave me extra napkins when I asked. All in all, most people would be ecstatic when their server does precisely what they ask them to do. Most people complain about customer service and how nothing goes right at a restaurant.

I wanted more than that. I wanted my server to say, “Good morning, how are you today?” with a smile as I sat down at my table.Β  Instead, she asked for my drink order, wrote it on her pad, and walked away. She did not smile and did not look happy about what I ordered (I ordered water with a lemon, by the way). I wanted her to put the napkins on the table and say, “Is there anything else I can do for you?” with an attitude that said that she wanted me to come back to the restaurant. Once again, she came by the table, put napkins on the table, and walked away. No conversation, no eye contact, just a bad attitude.Β  I didn’t want the bad attitude and lack of smiles. I wanted a customer experience.

Doesn’t that sound wonderful? You walk into a place of business and the staff treats you like they want you to come back. They go out of their way to make you feel welcome and comfortable. When you enter they say,” Good afternoon, is there something we can help you with?” They smile andΒ  look excited to help you find what you’re looking for. TheyΒ  want to help you find what you’re looking for and won’t stop until their mission is accomplished. Isn’t that the kind of place you would recommend to friends and family?

Think about it: is that how you treat your customers? Do you give them a “magical” experience? Thanks to John Formica, I look for these customer experience opportunities. Be the business that your customers love to come to because they are welcomed again and again and they have a “magical” experience!

How do you make your customers feel “magical”? Let us know in the comments section!

Photo: Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos

Comments

  1. I love this! Even our e-mails to our group followers should use the person’s name. We all like personalization, don’t we? You have given a great reminder of why! Thanks πŸ™‚

    • LOL, yes Martha! Everyone likes to feel important and appreciated.
      Thanks for pointing out that personalization is important, even in busy times!

  2. Hi Kristen,

    I love the analogy you use to show good and bad customer service. Even though some of us do most of our business online, giving good customer apply to us too, in terms of our tone in our posts, comments and Newsletters.

    Any time I have a waitress or waiter that gives a bad attitude while serving me. I never leave them a tip. Shame on them. lol

    This was great! Thanks
    Tisha

    • Thanks for stopping by Tisha! I love how you pointed out that good customer service extends to your
      posts, comments, and newsletters. It sure does and thanks for sharing!

  3. As a waitress for many years, I have seen many young people with the attitude you described above. What is even worse, is when you pick up the slack of another, just to be sure the customer comes back and you keep your job!

    And what makes matters even worse? When your told YOU are the one with the attitude and your running your butt off to make sure all customers are happy.

    Oh well, I’m over it lol

    • I’m sorry Michelle for your experience. As John Formica would say, “were you in the right role?”
      Each employee has a role (not a job, a role) in the company that is suited to his/her personality and enjoyment.
      I love his theory on this!

      Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Here I am wondering what you did wrong to merit being served a subpoena!
    Seriously, though, your waitron demonstrated the biggest reason most fail to rake in the big bucks. It just takes a smile, some effort, common courtesy, (and attention to detail, of course) to change the situation.
    So should we do with OUR customers/clients!

    • Yes, Roy! Thank you! It’s the simple things that can make or break the experience.
      In my opinion, it’s the first impression and a smile goes a long way!

  5. Kristen,

    Great post! Unfortunately we will always encounter bad customer service where ever we go. BUT we also find that great customer service and appreciate it fully. That is the way with the world.

    • True, Leona! It’s the good customer service that keeps us coming back because of the experience we felt.

  6. Hi Kristen,

    I just think that great customer service is the cheapest way to keep a customer coming back and get a customer to be a fan. Word of mouth is viral πŸ™‚

    That’s why I cringe here in Italy where they basically throw change back at the customer – forget any acknowledgment! It’s shocking that they could be talking to someone else while serving you.

    That’s enough of my rant πŸ™‚ Simple tip but powerful!

    • Thanks Diana! Ever since John Formica’s seminar, I’ve really been looking at how businesses treat their customers.
      I haven’t started on his book yet but I know it’ll be awesome!

  7. One time, at my “day job,” a new customer came to me and started asking me questions about one of our products. It was a particularly bad time. The more I tried to politely send non-verbal signals that I was in a hurry the more deliberate he became with his questions.

    Then he told me all I needed to hear, “This was the color my wife liked.” The tense of his comment sounded the alarms in my head. His wife had recently passed away and his adult children all lived out of state. The man was lonely and just needed someone to listen.

    I turned to give him my undivided attention, and after letting him talk for a few minutes, he made a small purchase and quietly slipped out the door.

    As weeks passed, he would come in from time to time and offer a friendly “Thank you for your good service.” His words serve as a rebuke and a warning.

    We have no idea what is going on in the lives of those that come across our path. Providing “magical” attention might be far more important the making a sale.

    • Well put Greg and thanks for your story! Sometimes, a smile can do more than just make you look friendly.
      It can bring happiness to someone else.

  8. Great reminder…if we’re honest, we’ve probably all been on both sides of this equation. I know I’ve experienced poor customer service and there are times when, like Greg, I’ve been distracted or under a deadline and that has impacted my normally fully focused attention giving. I have a couple of ways I address this now…schedule appointments with clients or potential clients, let voicemail take secondary calls and if someone catches me at a “bad” time instead of trying to rush through I just let them know I can’t talk right at that moment and set a time to get back to them. These actions take the pressure off and help me be fully present with my clients.

  9. Kristen,

    You mentioned several good points of what you wanted and expected and those are normal wants and expectations all customers have a right to expect. While it’s possible your waitress was having a ‘bad moment’ (would hate to know it was an entire day), she demonstrated so many attitudes why businesses lose the lifeblood of their company – repeat customers and customers who enthusiastically refer others.

    As entrepreneurs, we too have to make our customers, especially our customers and clients online, feel special and important. How we respond to any questions asked of us, follow-up after a purchase (digital products) with a Thank You and make it clear you would love to answer any questions on the product, etc. Responding to every comment left on our blogs. Those are just some of the ways we can make our online customers feel magical.

    • Wow, thanks Yvonne! You hit my point exactly: it’s a little things that can turn your repeat customers away.
      And you mentioned great ways to make those clients feel special. Thanks!

  10. Hi Kristen,

    I’m not a fan of eating out and I can’t honestly recall the last time I went to a restaurant. But my very first job, at age 15, was waiting tables at a popular local diner. Let’s just say it was my “initiation” into the world of customer service and working with the public. What a ride! πŸ™‚

    Luckily, my parents taught me some great lessons about how to behave in public and I’ve always been blessed with good interpersonal skills. The one important thing I figured out right away was “The customer is always right”. No matter how much complaining anyone did about their order, the lousy weather, their miserable boss, their good-for-nothing neighbors, or any other negative thoughts they could dish out (pardon the pun) …

    I was there to serve them … period. That was my role and my responsibility. And I made darn sure they left happy! One of these days I’ll have to tell you the story of a truck driver who ordered a cup of coffee and left me a $5 tip. πŸ™‚

    I’m excited because Yvonne is working on a project that’s going to highlight customer service and customer care. She’s someone in our blogging circle, like you, who has mounds of experience in the arena of customer relations.

    This is a topic not nearly enough people are talking about.

    Thanks for a fabulous post!
    Melanie

    P.S. Kristen, I wonder if you might consider installing a “subscribe to comments” plugin. It would be a great addition here and I would love to get an email notification when others comment on your posts. Thanks.

    • Thank you for your thoughts Melanie and I’d love to know about the $5 tip!
      I’ll definitely work on getting that plug-in, it would be nice-wouldn’t it?

  11. Well said Kristen. I have preached that building ‘raving fans’ is what its all about. It doesn’t take much to smile and take a few seconds to ask how you are doing today. You are right about her doing what you asked of her, but she certainly did not go out of her way to make you feel welcomed or that she even wanted you to come back.

    A big lesson in building those ever important relationships and you communicated that really well.

    • Thanks Lynn! Speaking of “Raving Fans”, I’ll be reading that book soon and yes, this is what it’s all about.
      Customers want to feel comfortable and have a great experience, not just service.

  12. Thanks for the reminder Kristen,

    I love thinking of my blog as a place I create a magical experience for my visitors.

    Sit down and take a load off! Can I fluff your cushion? LOL

    Absolutely delicious way to think of my communications with them. I always visualize my outcome before I write a post. Next time I sit down to write I’ll take a minute to visualize that warm and welcoming place where “everybody knows your name”.

    Love it! Thanks again!
    Many blessings,
    Carrie

    • Thanks Carrie and what a great way to think of your blog! I think that’s wonderful. Cheers, LOL! πŸ™‚

  13. Great post. Interesting that several in the T.L.C. group have written along a similar line. One of the biggest challenges in training staff is business owners forget to define the ideal buyer experience from first contact to after purchase. Greg’s story shows what can happen when people pay attention.

    • Thanks Roberta! Maybe we all had similar encounters at places of business!
      And yes, it comes down to what the leader trains his employees. That’s why I love John Formica’s
      book and how he teaches if your employees are in the right role.

  14. Now you’ve got me thinking, and that’s good! I am going to try to be more personal with the people who contact me for help. Maybe that’s one of the ingredients I’ve been leaving out. Yep. You’ve helped me with a big issue. Thanks, KR!

    • You’re very welcome Paula! It’s a hard balance being personal and professional but I find that most of my customers
      like it when I’m personable and try to help them. Sometimes I tend to go overboard and spend too much time on that
      one person, neglecting everyone else. It’s something I’m working on. I’m glad I helped!

  15. Hi Kristen, youve really hit the nail on the head here. We all want a bit of magic when we are spending our money somewhere, or interacting with people.
    Western Australia, in my experience, seems to be particularly bad for poor customer service, we dont want much, we just want some sprinkles.
    Thanks for sharing

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