A friend of mine told me, and everyone else on Twitter, that his mother had been for a meal today at a restaurant she has used for forty years.
They must have been doing something right for her to keep going back time and time again.
Today she declared “Never again!” after just one dreadful meal.
Forty years of good service thrown away with one bad experience.
As a business owner that’s a frightening thought.
As a consumer I understand it.
How do I reconcile those two points of view?
I’m not sure I can if I’m honest.
The old saying “You’re only as good as your last…” is true.
We try to remember that every time we deal with a customer and especially any time a problem occurs.
Our independently collected Google Checkout customer feedback is 4.9 out of 5 – so we know we are getting most things right and it suggests most of you are happy with our service.
But we’re only human and there isn’t a human that’s ever been born who doesn’t make mistakes.
Our biggest problem, without a doubt, is with external couriers. We rely on couriers to deliver our parcels and, although most of the time our couriers do deliver the parcels on time and in one piece, sometimes they lose them, smash them or send them to the wrong part of the country causing delays.
There’s not a great deal we can do about that except be the “squeaky wheel that gets the oil” which we always try to be.
Any courier company who has worked with us knows we don’t put up with any nonsense. Sometimes I see the email complaints Christine has sent to them and I’m glad I’m not on the receiving end.
But if they make a mistake, they had better be prepared to fix it quickly. That’s what we do when we make mistakes and we expect any company working with us to do the same.
I know we have also had some customers – although thankfully not many – who have said “Never again!”
When this happens we feel genuinely saddened that someone has felt so let down they can’t face using us again.
Normally it’s because of a problem the couriers have created, but even so the buck has to stop with us.
We can’t promise we will always get everything right, but we can promise we will do our best to get things right and we absolutely do care about making things right.
I can almost guarantee you there is a restaurant owner in Cardiff tonight who is upset that he’s lost a long-standing customer. If there isn’t, then he’s not paying attention to his customers or his business and he deserves to lose both.
We don’t want to be that type of business. If you have a problem with us, please let us know as early as possible so we get the chance to fix it before it becomes too big an issue.
Speaking with my consumer’s hat on I know how frustrating it is when a company makes a mistake – I’ve been dealing with one this week – but I also know it makes a difference whether the person I’m complaining to cares about my problem and wants to fix it.
We honestly do.
There’s another old saying – “If you like what we do, tell your friends, if you don’t, please tell us” – and, humorous undertones aside, it’s also true.
It’s great when you tell your friends what we do right, but it’s just as important that you tell us where we are going wrong.
The sooner we can fix the things that go wrong, the more likely you are to tell your friends about the things that we do right.
And the less likely you are to say “Never again!”