I met my friend Todd at one of the local pubs, Irish Times, just a few nights ago. I hadn’t been inside in months, not for any negative reason, there is just a lot of different places to eat in town.
The night went really well. Our server (Alicia? Alisha? Something with an “A”) did a great job – she was around when we needed her, personable, engaging … But when it came time for the bill, she blew it. Hard to catch to ask for the bill, hard to catch when we wanted to pay and hard to catch any smile at all to finish the night.
What happened? My experience to that point made me want to come back. Maybe even tell my friends what a great time I had. Instead, we have this blog.
Consistency is key in good customer service. If you suddenly change gears, you’ve missed an amazing opportunity to build a relationship. In this instance, the part of the experience I remember most is the end of it (maybe in a few months it’ll be like a girlfriend I broke up with…only remember the good times).
Now I don’t know what happened. It could have been something personal or an at work incident. But in either case, you should let your guest know (without going into detail) there’s something up or get someone else to cover your tables. This is about the customer experience, not the waiter’s.
Consistency: Duck, duck, duck…and keep going. I don’t want to see the goose.