Are you serving brown lettuce?

Mike Taylor | April 28th, 2010

I was just eating a grilled chicken salad and it made me think of how each of our organizations strives to provide superior customer service. It made me wonder how many of us do, in fact, meet those expectations.

Here’s the story.  We order a lot of lunches from this particular business and usually everything is fine. Today, the salad left a lot to be desired. The lettuce for the most part was almost all a day or two past its prime. The tips were all brown and some if it was slightly slimy (sound appetizing?).

I wonder how many times you inadvertently serve up brown lettuce to your customers?  You don’t do it intentionally, but you probably do it. Do you sometimes give advice that’s past its prime? Are you truly on the fresh side of providing new ideas?

Part two of the story. Generally speaking, I do not complain about an issue like this, but today I did. The manager apologized profusely and offered to bring me a new salad or give me full credit on the next one.  (I took the credit because I really can eat brown lettuce!) There was not one moment of hesitation on his part. Is that how your company handles complaints? I certainly hope so. However, the bigger issue is how many customers just never call or come back. One poor performance on your part sticks with them for a long time and taints your relationship for the future. If a prospect asked this customer about you, what will they say?

Set the bar high for yourself and your company – and make sure everyone clears it. Wow your customers with truly outstanding service. You really can swallow and digest brown lettuce, but can a customer swallow and digest poor service? Not often!

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