Learn from Mistakes

A few weeks ago I was asked to speak at a conference to a group of retailers who wanted to learn about improving their Customer Experience (CX). On the way home I was tired and hungry and rushing for a plane so I stopped for a quick lunch at a fast food Chinese Restaurant inside the airport.

Several things weren’t quite right with my meal. First, the food was barely above room temperature and made wonder if it could be safely eaten. Second, I wasn’t offered a set of chopsticks so I could eat my meal. And third, my order didn’t come with the traditional Chinese Fortune cookie. I watched other people enjoy their cookie but mine was nowhere to be found.

A couple of days later I took a few minutes to send the manager of the restaurant a quick message to share my experience. I soon received his brilliant response:

“Thank you for the feedback you have provided.  I apologize about your poor experience during your visit to our store, it saddens me that we let you down.  I would like to offer you a free meal on your next visit if you come thru our airport frequently? Otherwise I can refund your order.

 I have talked to my team about your experience and we have already been more diligent on the rotation of our food.  For some reason the employees hate throwing anything away, but they now understand that it’s a must! They think it costs us a ton of money, but they didn’t understand that $10 worth of food being thrown away is far less expensive than 1) Losing a customer for life, 2) Possibly getting someone sick and having to pay medical bills, and 3) Dealing with bad publicity and the loss of business that would result from it.  I have also gone over that everyone should be offered both chopsticks and a cookie with their purchase as those are Chinese Food staples!

 Again, thank you so much for your feedback, I truly appreciate it.

 If you have any questions please feel free to call me anytime.”

The manager’s response was spot on! He not only provided me with some necessary Customer Service (an apology with a free meal or refund) but he told me about the steps he had taken to improve customer experience to ensure future customers won’t have the same poor experience I did.

The secret to success is that you learn from your mistakes so your store will evolve into the store your customers expect and need.

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