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It’s a SNAFU! What can the business do?
CloudCherry | Featured | September 23, 2014
‘Lose the battle and win the war’ in the words of my friend when I asked the question “What could they have done better?”.
The Context? A friend of mine went for dinner to a very nice Italian restaurant that is seen as a torch bearer for great food in Chennai. His contention is that he found a clipped nail (!!) in his food and as a result there were Facebook pictures aplenty with lots of comments and attention. The restaurant felt it was a pistachio shell (which is not exactly a delicacy and perhaps out of place in his pasta) but the underlying point was lost.
I wanted to find out if they raised the issue with the management and if they did, what compelled them to post about it on social media?
The findings were pretty simple – It didn’t matter if it was a nail or a pistachio shell; neither secret ingredient made the pasta any better. The problem was the fact that there was a mini argument around what the foreign object truly was, losing perspective that the problem was its presence more than its exact chemical composition!
Apparently a free dessert was sent across later with a request not to escalate the matter, which again they felt was an impersonal gesture.
Hence, what should have been a private conversation is now in the public, or even worse social domain.
Could it have been handled better? Most definitely.
The impact? A few lost customers for sure and more depending on how many decide to hit the dreaded ‘Share’ button. Word spreads like wildfire.
Will I go back? Maybe – but I WILL look out for pistachio shells !
So how could this have turned out better (and not on Facebook)?
1. The establishment could have been instantly and sincerely apologetic about the presence of the foreign object in the food. This is the ‘Lose the battle but win the war’ analogy I fully agree with.
2. The apology could have been more tangible – “how about a tour of our kitchen and dinner on us the next time?” I am assuming it was staff who dealt with the incident; owners usually would be far more proactive with this kind of an incident.
I would reckon it might even have got a positive mention from them on Facebook or Zomato!
I think most of us agree that kitchen ‘accidents’ are humanly possible though perhaps unpardonable for a restaurant. It is what you do post the incident that impacts the ‘post / no-post’ decision of the diner.
In case you’ve slipped up, apologize then and there and offer a compensation. Turn a bitter customer experience into a neutral one, if not a delightful experience. And in order to do this, you need to be on top of your customers, understand them and last but not the least, cater specifically to their needs.
Using Cloudcherry, you can do all this. That too in Real-Time!!! Start Right Away 🙂