Customer Experience Matters

Note: This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive!

This week’s focus: business execution

“Food is great; service is lousy.” This was part of the front page headline in an article in sfgate.com. Can you imagine the restaurant owner’s heartbreak with this headline? Yet, this characterization seems to be spot on:

“And yet, dining here comes at a cost, paid for in time and patience. Because the service? Oh, my.

In three trips to the restaurant, I’ve yet to encounter a smooth experience. It’s not that the staff isn’t friendly; it’s that the whole operation is inefficient and imprecise. At best, in a nearly empty restaurant, it’s taken about 30 minutes for food to arrive. At worst, 90.

And the problems extend beyond an overworked kitchen.

On my second visit, it took nearly 30 minutes for someone to take our order. It took an additional hour before a single dish appeared. And when the food did come, it arrived all at once. Well, everything except one dish, which never came.

Nor were we alone in waiting. Tables all around were waiting, for food, for the bill, for plates to be cleared. Informing our server of the missing dish – yet fearing that it would take another half-hour for the kitchen to complete the order – we cut our losses and left.

Another concern: payment. Sometimes the credit card machine works; sometimes it doesn’t. There’s no way of knowing until you show up and see a small “Cash Only” sign taped to the wall. Having paid by credit card during a previous visit, I was caught off-guard – and essentially cash-less – the last time around, saved only by the ATM across the street.

Would I recommend the food? Absolutely.

Would I recommend the dining experience? Probably not.

Best to order to go, or fill up with time and patience and hope for the best. And bring cash, just in case.”

Business execution isn’t one-dimensional. A three-legged stool is worthless with only 2 legs. And, a business, when viewed through the lens of a customer, doesn’t work when the overall customer experience is lacking. Great food doesn’t make up for all the other gaps in the customer experience. A great product with poor service is a recipe for disaster.

Thought for the week:

“There are always good reasons for not doing anything if one starts out searching for the negative.” – Peter Drucker
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What do you think? I welcome your comments!
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Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2014 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

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