- Posted by admin 12 Sep
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Every weekend, my family and I have a tradition where we all meet at the same restaurant to catch up on activities or order take out and meet at home. Last weekend, during the long break, we decided to avoid the crowdy restaurants and order take out. I was of course saddled with the responsibility of ordering from the same restaurant we dine or order from and meeting up with the family at home.
On getting to the restaurant, after placing my order (so I thought) a local musical artist walks in and all the attendants were super excited to see him. After the pleasantries and with me still waiting to be told how long it will take for my order to get ready, the celebrity got his order confirmed and was told to wait a few minutes. I of course was also finally told to wait a few minutes for my order.
After about 20 minutes, the celebrities’ order was packed and ready along with other people that had come in after me, I of course ask and discover that my order hadn’t been sent to the kitchen, please note that at this time, I had paid for my order and had a receipt. After an additional 5 minutes, my order was taken again and I was asked to wait for another 20 minutes.
After 10 minutes, I was told that they were missing an ingredient for 1 of the meals ordered and therefore I had to change to a meal that will cost an additional amount that I was asked to pay for, I was of course furious at this time and had to give them a piece of my mind, after waiting for over 45minutes for a 20 minute order, I was asked to pay additional because they didn’t have an item required to make the meal and I had to wait for an addition 10 minutes for them to prepare the new meal -while the other meals were ready.
At this point, I had reached my limit and of course asked for a refund. It is important to note that we visit this restaurant weekly and have done so for the last 3 years. On asking for the refund, the lady informed me that I could only get a refund for 1 meal and not all meals. At this point, I told them, never again would they see us there and with a smile on their face, they started apologizing without any remorse or further help offered, I of course stormed out with my receipt in hand.
For me, that was lost business for the restaurant as my family and I would never revisit them and for the attendants, I was just a number that walked out the door which probably pleased them and they just got a massive ‘tip’ for the day. As a loyalty consultant, this meant several things:
1. My family and I have been loyal to this brand for years and we weren’t even recognized or treated differently. Rather, a popular person which they might never see again (except on TV) got the loyal customer special treatment.
2. After keeping me waiting for that long, I was still expected to pay for an error on their part, why couldn’t I be informed at the time of placing my order that a particular meal wasn’t available and give me the opportunity to place another
3. Most importantly, even if they wanted to, they have no means of reaching me as they do not have a loyalty program that would have allowed them get my details and for their management to follow up / apologize for the poor service earlier received.
Most businesses feel they do not need a loyalty program as they still have customers trooping in the door but what happens when 30% of your customers leave because of similar behaviours?
That’s potentially over 50% of your income as those 30% of customers will tell all that cares to listen (as I am doing now) about the bad service and no referrals at all.
Loyalty Programs aren’t just points or cash backs, Loyalty is achieved through excellent customer interactions, those important cherished moments. Businesses need to engage, recognize and show appreciation to loyal customers.
My family went hungry that afternoon as we had to settle for home cooked meals which turned out to be dinner and you can be sure that they lost our business.
Please feel free to reach me any time on firstname.lastname@example.org or drop your comments below.