We hear a lot about how to deliver good customer service, but not so much about being a good customer.
On the subject of good customer service, books have been written, classes offered, and training provided. Those businesses where we are treated well and feel appreciated are the ones we choose to patronize. Unfortunately, business owners don’t always get to choose their customers. They are pretty much stuck with whoever walks through the door, bad attitude and all.
When it comes to customer service, I like it when they know not only what I am talking about but also what they are talking about. We customers love getting something extra in appreciation, like an unexpected discount on our purchases, coupons for next time, or a small gift. When a company goes the extra mile, customers return.
But how do we measure up as customers? My Theology instructor related to our class a recent conversation he had with a local restaurant owner. The business owner admitted he dreaded Sunday afternoons because of how the afternoon church crowd behaves. You would think a restaurant owner would look forward to the increased income on Sundays. According to him though (and I have heard it before), church people are often inconsiderate and demanding, often leaving big messes behind along with their teeny-weeny tips. Church people of all people should know how to be great customers!
So as customers visiting a restaurant or any other establishment ( for simplicity sake, we will just talk about customers in a restaurant), we might consider spiffing up our attitudes, our manners, and our behavior…like so:
- Good manners dictate we speak to people in a considerate fashion. You might be having a bad day, but don’t blame the poor waitress who just lucked up and got you as a customer.
- Give your waiter a break. Remember, your server is a person with problems just like you. We all get distracted sometimes, and we all make mistakes.
- If she delivered excellent service, compliment your waitress.
- If your service was excellent, you might want to fill out one of their little surveys so as to register your satisfaction.
- Another way to praise the excellent service you received and your server is to mail a letter to the manager. This step may help your waiter land a promotion. Who knows?
- Be helpful and cooperative. It’s just plain rude to leave a big mess behind just because you can.
- Tip appropriately. It’s okay to be generous. Don’t be like the church people mentioned above who left a $3.00 tip for the server on a table of eight.
Maybe you have other ideas about how to be a good customer. Or maybe you have something to say about good customer service. Either way, your comments are welcome.