Customer Service: A Little Kindness Goes A Long Way
My wife doesnâ€™t accept a bad customer experience. Sheâ€™s going to get what she paid for, and if she believes sheâ€™s been deprived from the value she deserves in any way, shape, or form, somebody is going to hear about it. This usually results in an uncomfortable conversation with someone at a service counter. Sometimes the person on the receiving end of my wifeâ€™s declaration of being wronged gives in immediately. Sometimes they require a little more persuasion.
Iâ€™m not very good at uncomfortable conversations, so Iâ€™m more than happy to let her handle these situations. However, she tends use the brute force approach, and I sometimes I need to talk her down a few notches.
Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
We had just that kind of scenario play out recently with an order from Pizza Hut.
We called to order a three cheese stuffed crust pizza for pickup. I drove to the location and picked up the pizza, opening the box to examine the pizza before leaving the store. Once we got home we discovered a mistake with our order that we couldnâ€™t have noticed until we bit into a slice of pizza.
They had made our pizza with the new bacon and cheese crust.
My son and I shrugged our shoulders and just kept eating. It wasnâ€™t our favorite, but it was a late dinner as it was, and we didnâ€™t want to wait for something else. My wife, however, just sat there and stared at the pizza.
â€œIâ€™m calling and talking to a manager,â€ she said finally.
During the phone call that followed, my wife discovered that you could no longer call the store directly. Even if we called the number in the phone book, we were connected with a generic call center which they forwarded our order to the local store. She was assured a manager would call back shortly, but after ten minutes we were packing up the rest of the pizza and heading back to the store.
My wife gradually worked herself into a mild frenzy during the ride to the store.
â€œI canâ€™t believe we canâ€™t call the store directly. Thatâ€™s stupid.â€
â€œI canâ€™t believe they didnâ€™t call back.â€
â€œTheyâ€™re probably going to be jerks about it.â€
â€œThat pizza was GROSS.â€
As we pulled into the parking lot, I calmly reminded her that people do make mistakes, and our goal is simply to get the pizza we ordered. It must have clicked, because her demeanor completely changed as she described to the manager what had happened, showing him the pizza. â€œI love bacon for breakfast, but not in my pizza,â€ she joked and even laughed a little bit.
The managerâ€™s eyes snapped from examining the pizza, up to look at my wife as any tension that was in the air evaporated. He smiled, shook his head, and apologized repeatedly. He then asked if we wanted our money back, or a new pizza. We requested a new pizza, which was done in about 10 minutes. He also said we could keep the mistake if we wanted, and he instructed us to take a 2-liter of soda from the cooler for our trouble.
The second pizza was perfect.
While it is important to get what you pay for, itâ€™s also important to remember that the people on the other side areâ€¦well, people. They have bad days, and they make mistakes. Iâ€™m all for fighting to get your moneyâ€™s worth, but itâ€™s also important to give someone the opportunity to make it right before getting all up in their grill.
Kill â€˜em with kindness. It doesnâ€™t always work, but itâ€™s a great first step.
Do you have a â€œkill â€˜em with kindness story? Has kindness ever not worked for you requiring you to step it up a notch?