This quote by Bill Gates describes the customer service industry so well. Working in customer service, whether it be retail, or food service, you encounter so many different kinds of people, some nice, but most of the time unhappy, angry, unpleasant people. Working with the public is a challenging task and it takes a special kind of personality to handle it.
When I walk up to a table and Say “Hi there, how are you doing today?”, cutting me off and replying with “Diet Coke, and I’m waiting on two others” is not an appropriate response. I have found that my best tactic is to “kill them with kindness”. When I encounter a table full of unhappy customers, I smile nice and big, use my manners, and make sure they have everything the need to enjoy a nice meal with their company. That is about all I can do. I know I did my best to make their experience a great one.
I have found that in my time as a restaurant worker there are many customers that simply cannot be pleased. Everything in their meal was wrong (even if it IS exactly how they ordered it), its burned, its not cooked enough, too salty, not enough sauce, ice cold, and the list goes on. Most of the time the staff can figure out that this person just wants free food but, here is a lesson for you if you are one of these types of people.
We will not discount your food so you are a “satisfied” customer and you will now return back to this establishment because the situation was “fixed”. Truth is we do not want you to come back.
Now, obviously if their is just something wrong with a single dish, we know you’re not trying to get a free meal and we want you to leave a happy customer and return, so please don’t think I’m talking to you.
I have heard it at least once every shift I have worked since as long as I can remember “Everyone should be required to work in customer service at least once in their life!” Usually I hear this during the lunch or dinner rush at work. If this were to actually happen I think the world would be a much better place! Working with people is hard, but it is also the exact reason why I love my job so much.
So to all of my customer service friends out there: Put on a genuine smile, be kind, and actually care about the service you are giving and I promise you will be able to turn some of those grumpy people into very happy satisfied customers who continue to return back simply because they liked YOU so much because you made their experience so fabulous!