When will customer service people from wait staff to store clerks to everyone else in between realize lies do not inspire customer service loyalty. No lies do exactly the opposite. Lies build distrust and turn existing loyal customers into finding other solution providers.
Recently we had breakfast at a national chain that features home cooking. When the waitress took my order, I asked for extra syrup. The waitress replied “Absolutely.” Another waitress brought our breakfast and again I had to ask for extra syrups. This waitress replied “No problem.”
Our waitress stopped by when I was halfway through my meal and I mentioned the extra syrup. She replied “Of course.” Finally when I was finished with my breakfast, she brought the extra syrup.
Then told my husband and myself the reason for the delay was she was attending a mandatory staff meeting. She apologized when I told her to forget the syrup as I was finished with my meal. Again, she apologized and mentioned the mandatory meeting a second time. As a sales and management consultant, my first thought was “Talk about stupid management having a meeting during a prime time” and my second thought was “Hmm I wonder if the waitress lied to cover her own bad customer service?”
At checkout I was asked “How was the food?” I replied the food was great, but the customer service not so much so. The clerk asked me what happened and I responded.
She then asked me to tell the manager directly which I did. The manager was nice enough not to charge us for the pancakes and said the meeting was not a mandatory staff meeting. In other words, the waitress lied. Requesting an item 3 times is not the fault of management, but the fault of the wait staff. And yes there was plenty of wait staff as this was the usual busy Saturday morning
Customer loyalty especially for service industries such as restaurants, grocery stores, etc. where there is low profit margin is essential in today’s highly competitive B2C marketplace. Losing one customer can equate to hundreds if not thousands of dollars over the lifetime of the customer.
Very few people will fess up and acknowledge when they are at fault. This is human nature. Yet to lie to customer is not the answer for ongoing customer loyalty that is built upon expectations based upon past customer experiences.