How did we do in meeting your EXPECTATIONS? In my 30 years of sales and training I have learned that when someone tells you everything was fine …. not everything was!!! In Jim Collins book Good to Great, he talks about the enemy of Great is Good. Well in creating a loyal and repeat customer the enemy of great is Fine. We say Fine when we don’t care to take the time let them have it!!! You really want to jump right in the middle of somebody for having to ask 3 times for a refill, or you asked for no onions and they planted a field of onions on your plate. And just what part of medium rare on your steak is cooked to shoe leather?? I exaggerate for effect, but we all are guilty of answering Fine, because in our minds and hearts we know most of the time the blame will get deflected or excuses made and we don’t have the time or patience to indulge such behaviors so we expedite our exit by saying Fine and feeling sorry for the next batch of folks walking into a mediocre experience for their hard earned cash.
But what would happen if at the end of the meal, or the transaction if you were asked SINCERELY, “Did we meet all of your expectations today?” Think about that. It is a closed question requiring a yes or no, but it truly invites you to answer honestly about any shortcomings. Now here is the tricky part and trips up the best of us sometimes because 1-We are not used to such honesty; and 2-Human nature causes us to deflect blame when we don’t feel we are personally responsible for an issue. But what if you were told honestly about the irritation on drink refills? What about the acres of onions you didn’t want? And how about that shoe leather? If you were told this and made certain that reparations were made in the form of some customer satisfaction adjustment, then SINCERELY asked that customer to come back and give you the opportunity to get it right and EXCEED their expectation. Do you think they would come back? If for no other reason than to see if you were as good as your word?
They will and here is why. First you truly asked about performance and then acknowledged the issue, rectified it on the spot, and asked forgiveness and for a chance to make it better next time. Most of us want to be forgiving it is in our nature and we also enjoy being appreciated. This goes a long way toward building that fierce customer loyalty and curiosity is a business owner’s friend. They will want to come back just to see if you follow through and if they do come back and remember them
They will feel special and what’s that word again – oh yeah APPRECIATED!!