Customers can get on your nerves. We don’t like to admit it, but it’s true. Most are perfectly nice, pleasant people, but some of them will test your patience. Now and then, you just want to bite someone’s head off. But what if you treated every guest like your grandmother? How would that change the way you deal with customer complaints or annoying requests or that delivery customer who keeps trying to pay you with bitcoins?
Imagine the following situation: The phone in your pizzeria rings, and it’s your grandmother on the line. She wants to spend some of her hard-earned retirement money in your pizza shop. Of course, you will take special care of her. You’ll make sure she gets exactly what she wants—the right size, the right toppings, the right crust, the right sides and the right drinks.
After all, she’s your grandma.
Now ask yourself: Is this how I treat all my customers all the time? And what about your employees? Do they show each and every guest the respect and appreciation she or he deserves?
Here’s a surefire way to test how your reply to a customer request or complaint might sound before you actually say it out loud. In your mind, imagine you’re talking to your grandmother. For example, how would any of the following responses sound in that context?
“Sorry, Grandma, that coupon expired yesterday.”
“That’s not my department, Grandma.”
“No substitutions, Grandma.”
“We charge extra for that, Grandma.”
Think about some of the commonly asked questions at your pizzeria—and the responses you give and your tone of voice. Would you talk that way to your own sweet grandma? If not, don’t talk that way to your valued customers—whether they’re regulars or first-time visitors.
This story was adapted from an article by Wayne Remple in the March 2006 issue of PMQ.