Service: the good vs bad

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When it comes to customer service, everyone has a story to tell. Here are two classic examples that highlight just how important service is – and, whether your customer will do business with you again. On the flipside, a poor service experience can have a detrimental effect on your business through word-of-mouth.

The good

Peter and his wife went for breakfast one morning at a restaurant in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs and they both ordered scrambled eggs with tomato and spinach. When their orders arrived, they dug in, but unfortunately they eggs tasted like they had been soaked in the surf at Bondi Beach. They called the waiter over, explaining that they don’t normally complain, but the breakfasts are inedible. The waiter took the plate away, and returned a couple of minutes later to apologise, agreeing that the salt levels were far too high. In the meantime, the coffees arrived which were great.

A short time later, another breakfast arrived, and while at least edible, the eggs were still very salty. They ate what they could, and went to pay the bill. Peter was considering never returning to the restaurant, but what happened next changed his mind. The waiter waived the bill, coffees and all, and explained that there was a new chef. He said he hoped they would return for breakfast in the future. After this display of great customer service, Peter tells others about his experiences.

The bad

Caroline was in the market to buy a new flat screen television. She settled on one from a major chain store where she often shops for big purchases. Unfortunately, the model of television she wanted wasn’t in stock, and so was told to call back in a week to check if it had come in.

Caroline called a week later, and was told the television still wasn’t available and that she should call back two weeks later, which she did. When she called back, again the television hadn’t arrived. Caroline visited the store and asked to speak to the manager. The manager, who sat cross legged behind his desk and laughed at the situation, told Caroline she would be lucky to get that television and that she should choose another. Caroline, of course, wanted the television she had paid for. She didn’t complain and asked for her money back, and with no questions asked, the manager handed it back to her in full! She took the money to a competitor and bought the same television.

Caroline has told this story to a number of friends and acquaintances, and some responded they would never shop at this particular store again.

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