Businesses are run by people, which means occasionally mistakes will be made. That being said, customers have basic expectations when spending their hard earned money. When those expectations are not met, businesses have an obligation to do something to make it up to their customers.
I recently had two such experiences, which the businesses handled perfectly.
Olive Garden Put Me On Hold, Forever
I dialed Olive Garden’s number to place my to go order as I pulled out of the driveway. I expected to be told it would be ready in 15 minutes, which coincidentally the amount of time it takes to drive there. That isn’t what happened this time.
I was asked if I would hold, to which I certainly agreed. As I got on the highway I started to wonder what was taking so long. When I reached my exit, I knew they had forgotten about me. I stayed on the phone as I parked my van and went inside.
Once in the restaurant, I calmly waited my turn at the to go desk…still on the phone. When I finally reached the front of the line, the conversation went something like this:
“Good evening, do you have an order to go?” asked the Olive Garden employee.
“No, I have to give my order yet. But first you can take me off hold, where I’ve been for 25 minutes now,” I said as I pointed to my phone.
She looked down at the restaurant’s phone and saw the light blinking indicating someone was on hold.
“I am so, so sorry,” she said as she turned bright red.
I watched her and the other to go worker put in extra effort to put my order together. She handed me my order, along with a $25 gift card for my trouble.
Incomplete Burger Place To Go Order
My wife and I had enjoyed a nice meal at our favorite local burger place and about to leave when I received a text. Our son was getting home from work, and wondering what was available to eat. After some back and forth, we agreed to get a burger to bring home to him.
Once we returned home, however, we determined the order was not complete. My wife instantly called the restaurant and explained the situation.
I returned to the restaurant and picked up the rest of our order, along with a $10 gift card compensating me for my inconvenience.
Businesses want you to be a happy customer, but when they don’t meet your expectations try following these steps
- Give them the opportunity to correct the situation on their own: In both of my instances, I didn’t push at all. The employee I was dealing with offered the gift cards with no prompting from me.
- Don’t be rude: Being a jerk may force their hand to give you something, but remember you may have to deal with the same employee next time. That may result in an uncomfortable situation and a less than ideal experience the next time. Even in the Olive Garden case described earlier in this post, I wasn’t mean or angry to the employee. I was firm in my statements, but calm and friendly the whole time.
- Make sure they know you aren’t happy: If they don’t fix the situation on their own, calmly but firmly explain why you are not satisfied with your experience. If needed, talk to a manager. My wife’s favorite question is, “What are you going to do to make this up to me?” If they refused to do anything, your last recourse is to question whether this is a business you want to support with your money.
How about you, EOD Nation, what do you do when an experience with a business doesn’t live up to your expectations? What was the outcome of the last time this happened to you?
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