Don’t Make Them Wait

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time_likeWhen a customer walks into your store or place of business, the FIRST thing you need to do is acknowledge them. A simple “I’ll be right with you” is better than awkward silence. A few weeks ago my business partner and I walked into a restaurant in downtown Orlando and then I experienced what I thought was one of the worst customer service experiences since I moved here in 2008.

We walked up to the counter where you order your food. Two gentlemen were sitting behind the counter and even though they made eye contact with the two of us they never said a word. After a couple of minutes of silence my business partner walked to the restroom while I continued to look over the menu. He returned a couple of minutes later and they had yet to say a word. After what felt like hours of waiting for service one of the men behind the counter finally asked “do you know want you want?” I answered “yes, we’ve been standing here a while” He looked down and continued peeling potatoes and showed no urgency to take my order. He eventually got up and took our order.

You might be wondering why we didn’t just leave. To be honest, I really wanted to see what the outcome would be. I wanted to see if they would apologize for their lack of respect towards a customer, or if they would just continue with the attitude that causes businesses to fail. I don’t know anything about these men. I don’t know if they had a bad day at work, or if they had a family tragedy. All I know is that I was a hungry customer who was poorly treated and chances are I won’t go there again. Someone else could have left a bad review on Yelp, or said something on their social media page, but I rather share this experience and help other small business owners and managers understand the importance of acknowledging your customer in a promptly manner. Can you or your business afford to lose a customer?

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