A few weeks ago, my wife and I had a restaurant experience that could have cost that restaurant’s owner hundreds of dollars in lost revenue as a result of my family never dining there again. However, thanks to that restaurant’s consistent approach to customer service, we have not only been telling friends and family about how great the restaurant is, but we’ve dined there twice since! I’ve boiled down our increased loyalty to one thing: the restaurant’s customer service consistency across its physical and virtual storefronts.
When my wife and I dined in the restaurant, we experienced the restaurant’s physical storefront – the friendly wait staff, the subdued background music, and (unfortunately for my wife) a dangerously undercooked meal. The bad meal itself was nearly enough for my wife to call it quits on that restaurant forever. When I brought the food to the attention of the store manager, he went above and beyond our expectations by not only apologizing for the problem, but fixing it by bringing out a freshly (and fully) cooked meal and free dessert for both of us!
Needless to say we walked home impressed by that restaurant’s high level of customer service. In fact, I was so pleased with our experience at that restaurant’s physical storefront that I went straight to the “Contact Us” page on that restaurant’s virtual storefront – its website. On the website I was greeted with the same approach to customer support that we experienced in the restaurant – phrases like “we appreciate your business” and “please share your comments, we’d love to hear from you” helped enhance my experience. I left a note saying how pleased we were with their service and I left that website as a satisfied customer.
A few days later, the owner of the restaurant sent me a direct e-mail. He thanked me sincerely for taking time out of my busy schedule to share how his staff took care of us. He even offered us two free desserts on our next visit as a token of his appreciation! The spirit of his customer service was exactly the same as his restaurant’s website and the restaurant itself, and that last “personal touch” combined with our consistently pleasant experience with the restaurant’s physical and virtual storefronts completely won us over as loyal customers. We now have a fun story of a positive experience we had with that restaurant that we’ve already shared with others (free word of mouth advertising) and a connection to that owner and his restaurant that has already produced two additional sales for him!
Do your customers interact with your business physically and virtually? Make sure you provide the best, most consistent experience across all of your storefronts and you’re sure to win over loyal customers like my wife and I. Oh, and free dessert doesn’t hurt either.