Customer Service Goof: Communication is Critical

Have you ever been surprised when you received your bill at a restaurant? That’s what happened to me.

Friday night I went out to dinner with my husband and a friend at a local restaurant. It was crowded and we had a 20 minute wait for an outside table, so we sat at the bar and ordered drinks.

We ordered a round of drinks and before leaving for our table, I ordered a second glass of wine. When I checked the bill, I had been charged $2 more for the second glass of wine. When I questioned the bartender, he said they had run out of the original wine and had replaced it with a different one.

My response, “So I have to pay $2 extra because you ran out of my wine?” His response, “We run out of stuff all the time so we have to do it, sorry.”

I paid the bill and tipped him. It wasn’t his fault That is what we had been told by his manager.

For you business consultants or customers, what’s wrong with this picture?

1. They run out of items all the time. Perhaps a better inventory system needs to be put in place.

2. They didn’t ask me before making a more expensive substitution.

3. I had to look at the check to find the difference. Looking at a check and realizing you have been charged more than you thought you were going to be charged is never a good thing.

Had the bartender taken one moment to tell me about the $2 difference before pouring the wine, I would have been fine. I would not be writing this blog and I would not have a slightly negative feeling about an overall very pleasant evening.

What is something you can do in one minute that could change a customer’s experience for the better? Communication can make all the difference.

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