I had a most frustrating (and also, sadly, very common) customer service experience in Colorado last week. I was visiting my sister in Grand Junction for a few days, and we decided to take a jeep tour to the mountains to see the fall colors.
On the way to Ouray, CO, to get the tour, we had enough time to make a quick stop at a garden shop where Beth wanted to look at some flower pots that were on sale. We noticed that they had a small restaurant there, and while she was looking at the pots, I asked to see a menu since we had not had time to pack a lunch before we left. I explained that we were in a hurry as we had to be in Ouray at a certain time to get the tour, so could they get something for us really quickly — we only had about 15 minutes extra. The waitress said yes, so we decided the easiest thing would be two wraps.
The menu had avocado crossed out on the turkey wrap (mine), so I asked if I could still have it added since avocado was available on other things on the menu. She immediately said, “No, we cannot make ANY substitutes!” That should have been a hint! Then we asked if we could just get the wraps and not the sides that went with them, and of course, the answer was the same.
My sister then went to the general counter and paid for the wraps to save time, and again we reminded them about our time issue. We then waited and waited — all the while hearing them talking in the kitchen and every once in awhile one of the waitresses would even walk out and put silverware on the tables. But, still no wraps!
Finally, after more than 15 minutes had passed, I asked where our lunch was because we HAD to leave. At that point, the waitress we had dealt with came out and said that there was another table outside that was ahead of us, so they had not even started our order yet — a fact she had never mentioned when we placed the order. How long could it possibly take to make two wraps, one of which even had pre-prepared filling?
Of course, we were distressed, so we told them we wanted our money back and to cancel the order. The waitress went back and we could hear them talking in the kitchen which again took more time. She finally returned and said she would have to find someone to do that — another 5 minutes went by when at last the owner came out. She said the kitchen was separate, so the chef would have to give us our credit. At that point, my sister said, “Why don’t you just give us a store credit as I shop here often.”
“No,” said the OWNER, “I can’t do that. I will send the chef out in a minute.” After several more minutes, the chef came out and FINALLY credited my sister’s card. But in the meantime, we were without any lunch, we were late for our tour, and we were VERY unhappy customers — all because no one was willing to bend the rules!
The tour waited for us, and we ended up having a wonderful time except for being very hungry!
To learn more about how Barbara can help you improve your customer experiences, go to www.barbaraglanz.com.