I had a great experience at a local restaurant that helped teach me how to go the extra mile in order to create raving fans of our customers, like they did with me.
Here at Infomedia, our goal is to produce “raving fans.” By this, I mean a customer who cannot stop telling others about what a wonderful customer service experience they had with our company. I often think about this when I am around town visiting restaurants or businesses. “Are they treating me in a way that makes me want to tell EVERYONE I know about how great they are?”
I did have this kind of experience at a local restaurant called The Ridge Bar and Grill. I do not consider myself a huge critic of servers or managers when I dine out unless there is a problem. But I also do not get excited about their customer service if they do not go over and beyond what I expect them to do for me. I was very pleasantly surprised at what a wonderful customer service experience I had at The Ridge.
Often the staff at restaurants seem to groan when my family walks in as we have three small children who are all very active and animated. We usually meet other families with multiple children as well. This usually makes for a very spirited and hectic meal! On this particular night at The Ridge, we arrived with 6 children in our party, all under the age of 8 years old! Most servers would just barely get our food out and hardly speak to the children at all. But not these guys!
The staff seemed to do several little “extras” that I noticed throughout our meal. For example, the server brought the kids some delicious watermelon as a treat while they waited for their meal. The server even cleaned up multiple spills during the meal without complaining or impatience on his part at all. During a busy dinner service, our children were very talkative to our server as well as the manager that night. Instead of rushing around and ignoring them, the manager enjoyed talking with the kids and he even jokingly “threatened” the kids that he would make them wash the dishes if they didn’t eat all of their food. The kids thought that sounded SO fun! My husband and I laughed it off, fully expecting that he would not follow through on his “threat”.
After our meal was over, we were about to pay our bill and leave the restaurant. Of course, the kids had not forgotten about the “threat” from the manager. They approached him and asked if they could wash the dishes. The manager laughed and said “of course!” He took them back in the kitchen and let them wash a dish and use the sprayer, much to the kids delight! Afterwards, he gave them each a dollar as their “pay”. This entire scene was hilarious and so endearing for the adults in our party. We would never have expected this very busy manager and his staff to give our children such attention and care on a hectic Friday night dinner service. But they did! They went over and beyond what they were expected to do! This made such an impression on me that I will return to their business again and again.
As businesses who serve the public, we are expected to complete our assignments and deliver the “product” in a timely manner. There is no rule that we have to go over and beyond for our customers. But if we want them to be a raving fan, like I now am of The Ridge, then we MUST treat them like we would want to be treated. Raving fans are the key to our business!