A Perfect Example

My family and I went to try the new Habit Burger in our town. Their marketing genius of their slightly addicting game app brought us into the restaurant but the customer service is what will keep us going back. It got me wondering about the importance of customer service in businesses. Is it as important to the consumer as the product?

We walked into a pristine restaurant (of course, it’s new), but the line was long and slightly slower than it probably should be for a quick dining experience. We ordered our food from a wonderfully friendly cashier who was happy to give us suggestions or explain anything about the menu. We wrestled through the crowd to find a seat, put the little one in the high chair and waited for our buzzer to light up signaling our food was ready. While we waited, I watched as employees would walk through the dining room, wiping down tables, asking patrons if they would like their tray taken away or if they wanted a refill. Were they really putting the customer first? Anyone with a little restaurant experience will be able to say not only does that add to the customer experience, it’s also more efficient as the quicker the table will turn around. Nevertheless, the people that were helping seemed very happy to assist and it was amazing to see genuine customer service in action. Finally, the flashing lights of the buzzer notified us our food was complete.

Ron brought the food back to the table, informing me his burger was dressed improperly and they would be bringing him another. As I was getting the baby’s food together, I realized the avocado I requested and paid for was not on the burger and made mention of it to my husband. The employee who was cleaning the table next to us happened to overhear my conversation and came over to ask what he could get me as he heard something wasn’t right. Wow…now that’s customer service! Not only did he get the avocado I requested, he also grabbed me some silverware for the baby and sent the manager over to apologize for the mistake, accompanied by a free burger for our next visit. We were shocked at the high level of customer service throughout the experience and it got us talking.

If the food wasn’t anything to write home about, would people still return? What role does customer service play in the guest experience? In our family, if the food is spectacular but the experience is anything but, we generally don’t return. It works in other aspects as well. We’re happy to pay for a maid service who treats us like family even if we could get the service for $15 cheaper somewhere else, we are happy to get our car serviced by a mechanic that is open, honest and friendly even if the service is no different than the guy down the road who is grumpy and doesn’t talk much.

I’d like to know if our family is different than most. Is the customer service the key to your return? Should customer service be the largest priority in any business?