I love food - I'm more of the opinion that food is one of the great passions of life. For me, when I think of travelling to a far off land, my mind immediately wanders to the local cuisine. Italy? Pasta and espresso. Croatia? Seafood. Greece? Moussaka! And every Tuesday night, from the comfort of my own home, I travel to India (courtesy of Menulog and delivery service)!
I've been ordering from the same Indian restaurant for three years now. It is hands down, the best Indian food I've ever eaten and I tell people about it, often and loudly. The food is always fantastic, the staff are lovely and the delivery is super speedy.
However, a few weeks ago I felt seriously let down. I ordered as per usual and received my confirmation text, stating the estimated delivery time. 20 minutes after the ETA, the food still hadn't arrived, I gave them a call to make sure they had received the order and was rudely rushed off the phone with an irate "it's on it's way!". I was a bit shocked at the attitude, but brushed it off assuming the person on the other end of the line was having a bad day. It happens to the best of us. But time ticked on and 2 hours after placing my order, the food still hadn't arrived. I should mention that the process is usually under 30 minutes from order to delivery. I called again and spoke with someone else, who was even ruder than before and I got off the phone more confused and hungry than ever.
I'm familiar with most of the staff and the two I'd spoken with must have been new. By this point, hangry* took over and I jumped on Facebook to privately message the restaurant and let them know about my experience. The food finally arrived about 5 minutes after I sent the message, cold and sub-par.. But I don't care. I will order from this restaurant and sing their praises to anyone who will listen.
You know why?
Because 10 minutes after sending the Facebook message, I received a call from the owner of the restaurant. He wanted to know what had occurred, in detail. He tells me that he has worked very hard with his family and staff to create this restaurant and customer service is in his blood. If there is something going badly at his restaurant, he wants to know. He apologised profusely, thanked me for letting him know, organised for free meals to be credited to our account - and this is the best bit - he was very careful not to speak badly of his staff, but to acknowledge that there was a gap between how they behaved and how he expects his staff to behave and that it was his responsibility to ensure that staff understood what was expected in future.
I received my free meals later than week, with a follow up message to ensure that everything was okay. Every week since, the meals and service have been perfect. Not to mention the little extra's they have popped in too!
Moral of the story - Bouncing back from an episode of poor customer service is easy when you acknowledge the issue and set out to resolve it, without throwing blame. Ensuring that everyone has a full stomach doesn't go astray either ;)
*Hangry - When you are so hungry that your lack of food causes you to become angry, frustrated or both.