If you were at a business lunch in an up-market cafe, maybe an intimate dinner at a restaurant, a group function, or a quick meal in between tasks at the local café and the experience was less than good, would you complain???
Most of us don’t want to ‘make a fuss’ and tend to say nothing to the proprietor, yet we will often talk about our experiences to those around us tainting the reputation of the establishment and leaving us with that lingering ‘bad experience’ feeling in the future whenever we dine out.
If the word ‘complaint’ was replaced with ‘opportunity to improve’ or similar, would it make any difference to us raising the issue?
It’s always good to take the opportunity to fix an issue as soon as it has happened, yet the proprietor can’t fix it if he/she has no knowledge of the issue. More recently I’ve experienced that if the issue is discussed with the proprietor or senior staff when it occurs, the staff generally rectify it and will most likely thank you for pointing it out.
No one wants to deliver or receive a bad experience when out dining, yet when a complaint is received, the staff may initially feel slightly embarrassed or defensive, so how you the ‘customer’ may explain the issue will have a big impact on the conversation and the outcome. Yelling or stamping feet doesn't often produce the the outcomes you might want.
Be clear about the issue that has occurred from a customer’s prospective using friendly tones and body language expressions when explaining the issue, as your service provider will generally want to resolve it for you and improve their systems to prevent it from re-occurring.
Always aim for both parties to have a win-win outcome, so that you and the proprietor are satisfied with the solution and try to leave being able to say ‘that was a good experience’, or ‘at least they fixed the issue for me’, as the outcome will make quite a difference for you the next time you consider dining out.
A compliment from you for a good experience is like receiving diamonds or gold to the person that receives it, so if you enjoy your dining experience, express your thoughts and say “thanks” or “great service”, as it will make a world of difference to the receiving person.
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