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Secrets of Success

Sara’s Story – Part 2

Last month featured a “what would you do?” dilemma.

Sarah, the waitress, was torn between a wife whose husband had been served a meal while she waited as her food arrived cold forty-five minutes later. The wife did not want to pay while Sarah’s manager insisted that a meal had been served and the customer would be charged. The question posed to you the reader was what Sarah should do.

There was a tremendous response from you, the readers! Reactions and suggestions included:

“Give them discount coupons and ask them to come back again.”

“Ask the manager to speak to the customers and explain the restaurant’s stupid position.”
(There were many variations on the “Have them talk to her manager” theme.)

“Charge them for the husband’s meal.”

There were also some editorial comments:

“Her boss is a bonehead and is never going to make it in the restaurant business with an attitude like that.”

“Sarah should look for another job.”

“The manager should be fired.”

And my personal favorite:

“The lady should get a new husband, the inconsiderate bastard.”

A few of you guessed what Sarah did:
She went to the couple, apologized, and told them the meal would be taken care of and they would not have to pay.
She then went to her manager and told him that she had paid for the meal out of her own pocket.

Sarah was able to avoid being insubordinate and also able to avoid having the customer cause a scene.

Lest you think Sarah was not concerned about her own needs, she left that job shortly after the incident.
PS: The restaurant is no longer in business.

So what’s to be learned from this story?
We are all in the personal-attention and quick-response business with our customers and clients. No matter what we sell,
at the end of the day, that’s what we have to deliver.

I would suggest that the more “Sarah’s” you have in your company, the better you will be able to respond to your
customer/client needs. Company rules and policies for dealing with clients are necessary.
Unfortunately, rules are often black and white and life is gray.

Ask yourself this question:
“How much leeway do I give my employees to use their best judgment when dealing with a customer?”

You hire employees for their brains. Make sure you let them use those brains.

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CTS Consulting, Inc

3126 Berkshire Road

Baltimore, Maryland 21214

phone 410-444-5857

cell 443-286-2488