I picked up a carryout order at The Cheesecake Factory recently and experienced a remarkable feat of customer service.
I called in my order and proceeded to the parking area where they bring your order right to your car. When I arrived, there were no parking spaces available. I pulled over to the side and phoned the restaurant that I was there, the whole time watching cars honk at each other as drivers vied for spaces when they opened up. Suddenly, two guys jumped out of their cars and almost got into a fistfight over a parking space. I was thinking this is my last trip to this restaurant for carryout.
Customer Service Is Not Dead
When a server brought out my order, he was so nice and apologetic that I felt much better. He explained that the valets had not shown up that night so there was no one to direct traffic. He then proceeded to signal cars to move out of the way so I could easily exit.
I have always believed there are three rules of customer service. 1.) Don’t blow it 2.) Sooner or later, you will blow it and 3.) Know how to recover after blowing it.
The Cheesecake Factory did blow it—but they recovered. The server who brought the food noticed that I was a doctor on my credit card and told me that he was pre-med in college and wanted to go to medical school. He developed a mini-relationship with me in less than a minute. He told me that most nights it wasn’t that bad and that I should come back and try it again. He said that this was an unusual evening and that this rarely occurred. Any doubts I had about the company disappeared.
I will go back and try their carryout again—despite having had a previous bad experience. And it’s all because of this astute and professional server.
There’s a clear lesson here for dentists. Practices need to turn around unhappy patients as easily as this server was able to!
No practice ever wants to blow it, but it’s been known to happen occasionally. The real trick is knowing how to recover.