Quantifying Gain due to Good Customer Service in a Restaurant
Some friends are dining in a nice steakhouse and one of the ladies flags down the waiter to inform him that her steak is not cooked to her liking. She requested her steak to be cooked medium rare and the steak came out overdone.
The skilled, sensitive waiter urgently removes the plate, with the correct level of humility and willingness to help, and assures the customer that he/she will take care of the problem. He/she even goes so far as to suggest that he/she may have written the cooking instructions down incorrectly for the kitchen.
Upon entering the kitchen, the staff is sensitive and attentive to his customer’s problem.
This attentiveness by the staff in the kitchen is a result of the way the young man carries himself in regard to his fellow employees. You don’t get this type of teamwork and cooperation overnight.
- The new steak is delivered to the customer and is cooked perfectly and the fast response of the kitchen shortens the awkward time frame in which the other 5 people at the table have started their meals.
- The other 5 customers have observed the manner in which the waiter resolved the problem.
- The floor manager, unaware of the events to this point, stops by the table and asks if everything is okay. The entire table lauds the food and the service.
- Upon the offer by the floor manager to pick up the cost of the steak, the customer ‘insists’ that he be charged.
- The cost of the steak is $24.95.
- The meal is fully billed at $259.70. The waiter receives a 25% tip.
- The skill and temperament of the waiter has directly saved the restaurant $73.35 in contrast to the bad service scenario previously outlined.
- Most importantly is the value of the defusing of a potentially bad situation, totally attributable to the attitude and skill of the waiter. Inherent in that value is the same radiation dynamic that exists with a bad customer service experience. One bad experience is repeated to 12 people who will tell 3-5 other people. That same dynamic exists in recovering the goodwill of an unsatisfied customer.
- In addition to the primary customer, who has been made to feel important and respected, the other members of the table were part of the experience as well.
- The good performance of the waiter saves the restaurant $73.35 for every similar experience. Service miss-steps are on-going. The skill lies in resolving them, preventing the miss-step, in these situations is limited and rare. This valued employee saves the company expense, and adds revenue, for each customer service problem. He is an on-going asset to the company. Assuming that this will happen at least 4 times a month, he then saves the company $3,520.58 in revenue and blocks the chance for the same level of increased expense. Total direct savings: $7,041.16.
- NOTE: The skilled customer service provider manifests their job and their skills with the internal and external customer. His manner played a big role in pleasing the customer but a bigger role in setting the tone for the proper reception from her associates in the kitchen. This, as well, carries over to the other waiters and waitresses, even the ones not so well-wired, when they see the tip results. The instance described illustrates how the skilled customer service performer achieves personal gain by striving to please the external customer as well as those he works with. This is in stark contrast to the poor performer who is only about personal gain and rationalizing inadequate performance but achieves just the opposite.
This above scenario does not take into consideration many potentially devastating situations for the restaurant. Additionally, describing this scene does not address the varied and many incredibly opportunistic possibilities that can occur from this event. For example, consider the ramifications if the principals involved included a president or CEO of a company considering a restaurant site for a private party of 50 customers and a $75,000 budget.