Beg, Beggar, Begging………..
The results for a search of the definition of the word to beg, throws us the following synonyms: to – beseech, entreat, implore, adjure, plead with, appeal to, pray to, petition, apply to….
And yes – this was our experience we last Thursday at a newly opened restaurant in Hurlingham Nairobi, where my friend Julie and I went to catch up after a long meeting we’d been at. We were reduced to begging like beggars and begged for an omelette – yes begged – for exactly 30 minutes.
Below is exactly what unfolded:
- We arrived at about 3:45pm and loved the great restaurant ambiance in coffee house style
- We experienced a good welcome – the waitress appeared immediately and greeted us
- I ordered an omelette and Julie ordered vegetable curry and mashed potatoes
And this is where it all began to go downhill……..
- The waitress advised that they do not serve breakfast items past 11am
- I politely requested to have my request considered as that is what I truly felt like having
- She asked me to select something else meanwhile as she felt the chef would not agree
- We requested her to go and ask the chef nicely on our behalf for the omelette
- She returned after a few minutes and advised us that he had refused to make it
- We requested her to ask him again nicely as we were keen on the omelette
- She advised that he had refused already, and I then offered to go and ask him myself
- She said we were not allowed into the kitchen, and I told her we would ask from the window
- She stood at our table not knowing what to do and we asked to please talk to the manager
- She was upset with us and told us it was not her fault that the kitchen was refusing
- We consoled her that it was not about her, we were just in need of the omelette
- She advised that the manager wouldn’t come and so we asked for the team leader/supervisor
- A different lady ( the supervisor)appeared and reiterated that it would not be possible
- We repeated the same request and enquired what exactly was making it impossible
- We were told that there were meat orders on the hot plate and so the omelette couldn’t be made
- We indicated that we were happy to wait until all the meat orders were complete
- The two were nonplussed by our insistence on the order and both patience and willingness to wait
- We asked again to see someone in charge to make the request or to speak to the chef directly
- The ladies went and consulted with a well-dressed gentleman sitting at a different table
- He proceeded towards the kitchen and the original waitress came back to our table with feedback
- She told us that the manager had intervened and that the omelette would duly be made
- She also advised us that this was an exceptional consideration and that they don’t usually do this
- We were also told to take note that this would never happen again past breakfast time
Soooooo – from a customer service/customer experience angle, what do you all make of this? What eight questions could we ask/what could we learn from this to improve our lot?
- Should you customer beg you for anything? Beg? Is this the experience we desire for customers?
- Should we have a ‘yes’ attitude to ensure if something can be done it will be done?
- Should we lecture customers and admonish them over their requests including final warnings?
- Should internal systems put in place to govern efficiency be at the expense of customer comfort?
- Should ‘back office’ departments support customer facing teams towards responding to customers?
- Should customer convenience be king and this aspect ‘sold’ over and above the product/service?
- Should customers be privy to what internal departmental discord and blame apportionment exists?
- Should the team members on the ‘shop floor’ be empowered enough to make customer decisions?
If your answers to the above questions rank at 50% yes and 50% no then you are doing very well with regards to the simple back bone structure towards delivering customer experience excellence.
Delivering CX excellence is not rocket science – far from it………..
It does not require complex plans and strategies. What matters most is to map the customer journey by walking in the customers shoes, determining what experience one would want to have, and going forward to design the same for the customer. Just that…
So this is a call for everyone who cares about their customers to do exactly that, and for us as customers to challenge the status quo when a brand is saying ‘no’ where in all possibility they can say ‘yes’.