There’s a quote I like but I don’t know who originally said it: “Good customers don’t scream or kick or shout they just never come back”. That quote came to mind the other day.
There’s a cafe in the small town where my children go to school. Over the years I’ve got into the habit of meeting the children there for a bite to eat whenever we have to go to an early evening event at the school.
Last time we went I ordered spaghetti on dry toast. It was my inner child ordering. I haven’t had tinned spaghetti in ages and just fancied some. The order duly came. I noticed the toast was buttered but hey ho we don’t always get everything right. I began eating it. It didn’t taste as good as I expected. Umm I thought this tastes a little burnt. So I scrapped off the spaghetti from a section of the toast. The toast was a nice brown colour. Umm I thought and sneaked a peek at the underside of the toast. It was the colour of charcoal. I felt truly disappointed. Not only because, as a customer I hadn’t been delighted, but also because the cafe had tried to hide the fact that they weren’t going to delight me.
It made me think. Marketing theory often talks about delighting the customer. The expression goes with the phrase “under promising and over delivering”. Sometimes I think we forget we have to delight the customer every time. Granted sometimes it’s hard to delight every time. We’re not always in the right frame of mind and neither is the customer.
How many times do we have to disappoint before an un-delighted customer walks away? How many times do we disappoint a customer and think “Phew, we got away with it that time.”?
Well the cafe hasn’t. Maybe the service was always borderline delightful and maybe my occasional custom won’t be a great loss.
It just reminded me of the importance of consistently good customer service – to all of us.