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No Worries– We Did Not Do As You Asked!

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   Many of my blog posts address the need for outstanding service, especially in these turbulent economic times when customers have many options on where to spend their hard earned dollars.
   I was in rural Western Montana the other day working for a client.  I had checked into the motel and asked where a good place was to eat.  The desk clerk said that there were several “Mom and Pop” type places, however, she had one which she highly recommended.  I said, “Great”,  she gave me directions and off I went.
   I found the little cafe, there were lots of cars and trucks around, a “cowboy” indication that I must have found something good!  I had driven most of the afternoon, about 7 hours to arrive here, was tired and was hungry.
   Walking in the door, the water was on the table, the waiter mentioned the specials.  I took a minute and then ordered a steak sandwich– it just sounded good, it was getting late and I did not need a big meal.  He asked how I wanted the steak cooked– I said Medium to Rare, more on the rare side.  OK, no problem.
    Well, the meal was served and the steak was at best well, well done!  I was hungry and ate the meal.  At the end of the meal, the waiter appeared and asked if everything was satisfactorily prepared.  I told him that I had asked for a Medium to Rare steak, however, ended up with a Well- Well Done steak.  His comment was that small steaks are hard to cook!! 
     Wellllll– OK, guess that is the case, it kind of reminded me of Henry Ford and the Model T– you could have any color you wanted, as long as it was Black!
     The waiter presented the bill and said, “I took $2 off the bill, we did not prepare your steak as requested.”  Wow, was I surprised!!  This happened in rural North Western Montana.  I was certainly willing to pay the full bill, did not ask for any recompense, however, did not get what I ordered!
     Now my curiosity was piqued– I asked the waiter if he was the owner– he said No, that his mother in law owned the cafe– she had cooked in the morning shift!
     The actions of this waiter are the characteristics that we have discussed in many previous blog articles.  This was a seemingly empowered employee, identified a customer complaint and took the necessary action to try and remedy the action so that the customer was happy.  He did NOT tell me that there was any policy against fixing a customer complaint, he did not try and argue about what my customer dissatisfaction was, he just solved the problem!  Needless to say, I was not only impressed, but am willing to tell everyone else how good the food and service was.
     Now, do your employees have the same empowerment and skill to address customer complaints?  Do they know what to do when someone is unhappy with the product and identified their complaint?  If not, you may wish to explore how to insure that your employees can address customer satisfaction in a manner which Covey cites as “Win-Win”.
      Yes, I left a big tip!  I was impressed with how the waiter handled the matter.  He obviously knew what to do and he did it without me doing any more than telling the truth when I was asked how the meal was.
      The name of the cafe– The C & L Cafe, Cut Bank, Montana.

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