On a recent Saturday morning, my 9-year-old daughter and I went through a fast food drive-thru for a hot chocolate and coffee. After I paid and pulled away, I realized that my coffee cup was barely half-full. Being me, the next thing I did was pull over in the parking lot, get out my cell phone and call the number on the receipt for the restaurant, because in the words of my mother, “You can’t fix what you don’t know is broken.”
I spoke to the manager, who apologized for the poor service and told me how she was going to correct it by speaking to her staff. Then she wrote down my name and address so she could mail me a coupon for a return visit. Three days later, I got a very nice letter in the mail thanking me for my phone call and the feedback I gave about my experience. The letter went on to say what a valued customer I was, and how my comments helped them in training their staff so that others could enjoy better service. By the time I got to the bottom of the letter and saw my free coupons, I had a smile on my face. All I did was what I would expect of anyone – tell someone about the problem so it can be addressed. Granted, the coupons for free coffee were great, but it was mostly the idea that I was able to help someone else have a better experience.
In today’s fast-paced world of immediate gratification, I did what some would consider outside the “norm.” I didn’t text, email or Facebook about my complaint. I picked up the phone and called. The lack of a full coffee and the poor service I received was important enough that I wanted an immediate “fix,” and I knew the only way to get it was to speak to a live person.
In business today, what do you consider acceptable communication when you are not getting the response you need?
Do you email? Do you fax? Or do you call and make a human connection?
We’d like to hear from you! Share an experience on what worked for you to open those lines of communication.
By Leslie Herr, NL Director of Operations