Beyond Apologies

I just read a story (actually it was read to me) that I thought I’d share. It’s about terrific customer service and  the importance of creating touch points throughout an experience that in most cases can lead to lasting memories.

Friends of ours  just posted a quick story on Facebook about a recent experience they had at an area restaurant.  The evening was particularly special because it was one of her last big meals before preparing for serious back surgery. She jokingly referred to it as “the last supper,” and you’d have to know her to appreciate the humor in her comment.

The evening got off to a slow start when they were delayed forty minutes past their seating but it was a celebratory affair, kind of, and were eventually seated. Instead of simply apologizing the team at the Franklinville Inn went a step further.  In short, and following a brief explanation of the delay, our friend’s message read as follows:

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A bottle of wine was sent over as an apology and before the end of the night my husband was all giggles. If that weren’t enough, yesterday a $25 gift card showed up in the mail. I guess they liked seeing my husband a little giggly.

Her summary, which she posted to her profile page, not only summed up two really important actions (touch points) on behalf of the restaurant, but it was positive in its delivery and tone. An organization can’t pay for that kind of delivery. (or maybe they can – bottle of wine and $25 worth)

Touch point # 1 –

Instead of simply apologizing, offering a discount off of the bill, or even presenting them with a gift card at the table, the manager sent over a bottle of wine. A nice way to enhance the evening, add value instead of removing value, and creating a memorable experience.

Touch Point #2 –

The restaurant took the time to mail a gift certificate in lieu of handing it to them while they were seated at table or presenting it before they left. This extended their experience and reminded them of the “giggling” long after the laughter subsided. Most importantly has given our friends a reason to go back for a post-op visit.

As soon as I heard this story I wanted to share it.  It’s an example of an organization that “gets” customer service.

Disclaimer: I have not affiliation with the restaurant although I have eaten there and the soup is outstanding.


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