Your Customers Are Over You

                                   “There is only one boss, the customer.”
                                                                                -Sam Walton, Founder of Wal-Mart

Not Only is the Economy Different…
We were meeting for a business lunch in a local restaurant. There weren’t many people there when we arrived. A small group of people were ahead of us in line at the check-in stand. The head waiter asked how many…”Eight,” came the response. “We have a reservation.”

The server asked for their name. “Darryl: Party of eight.” The answer wasn’t what Darryl expected. “Well I have two reservations for parties, none of them for ‘Darryl: Party of eight.'” came the sarcastically-toned answer. Darryl answered, “We made the reservations two weeks ago.” Well my registration book shows no “Darryl” and no “party of eight.”

It was Noon and the restaurant was almost empty.

Darryl said in a disappointed voice, “I am sure I called in a reservation two weeks ago.” Again, “Well my book shows no party of eight.”
There was a long pause that everyone felt uneasy about…
“Would you like me to seat you anyway?”

Duh!!!

A relieved Darryl said, “Sure.”

My companion turned to me and said, “Was that totally necessary? Why did poor Darryl have to hear all that? Couldn’t the server just say, ‘I am sorry that I don’t have your reservation here, but that’s no problem, we can seat you any way.’?”

The frustrated group went into the almost empty dining room and took their seats. They didn’t look satisfied. You could tell this was their last meal at this place. Can you blame them?

This is a symptom of careless business practices that you and I are less patient with today. Customer service isn’t knocked out, but it’s on the ropes in many cases. It’s a different world  now. We are not going to “recover,” as it were. We can’t go on the way we did when business was booming two years ago.

One thing is certain…

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