Own it

Last week I wrote about the importance of taking ownership of mistakes.  The very next night I experienced first hand what this looks like and felt compelled to share the story here.  My mom and I were in the mood for margaritas, so despite previous experiences that weren’t so hot, we loaded the family up and headed to the local Jose Peppers for some yummy queso and 2 for $8 margaritas.  Margarita.0.0There was a pretty long wait, but we were finally seated and our server came over to take our drink orders.  He started by informing my mom that they carry Pepsi products.  She told him she was more interested in the “margarita products” to which he responded, “If you would have let me finish my sentence, I would have gotten to that.”  Ok.  Not off to the best start, but we are patient people and decided to let this rude comment slide.  But for the next half hour or so, more and more things were happening.  None of us received waters, despite our server making a big deal that “anyone who orders alcoholic beverages automatically gets waters, so don’t bother ordering them.”  Our boys were so thirsty and we had to ask a different server to bring their waters!  It was such a busy night, and as a former server, I completely understand when you are running all over the place taking care of all of your tables and sometimes forget about drinks.  But our server was never running, or even walking fast; on the contrary, he was walking so slow and it seemed he only had our table and one other so he wasn’t that busy.  In fact, at one point when we were ready to order more drinks, he sauntered to the table next to ours to pick up the ticket and check out what tip was left, but didn’t even glance our direction to make sure we were ok.  My food arrived before anyone else’s, which is fine, but after 10 minutes when I was still the only one with food, we were getting a little frustrated.  What pushed us over the edge was when our server brought our check before the food! We finally decided to speak to the manager and let him know what had been happening.  He did not seem that concerned while my husband was speaking to him, so we figured it was a lost cause and we would just not return to the restaurant.  However, within about 3 minutes, everything changed.  The manager returned to the table and introduced us to a new server.  The young man (who we had noticed was already pretty busy) truly did an amazing job of making the remainder of our experience pleasant.  With the help of the manager, he got all of our food out, drinks ordered and delivered, all with a positive attitude and pleasant demeanor, despite the pressure he was under from all of his other tables.  We were so impressed with the way the situation was handled, and will definitely return again soon!

This is such a perfect example of taking ownership of a negative situation.  Rather than simply saying “I’ll talk to him” and giving us a free dessert (which they did anyway, by the way!), we were given a new server and the opportunity to change our experience from negative to positive.  They could have treated us like we were wrong to expect more on such a busy night, but instead they treated us like we deserved to have a great meal and conversation beyond complaining about our server.

Negative situations do not have to define your business; by taking control of the situation and turning it into a positive, you can create customers and evangelists for life!

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4 Comments

  1. Kudos to that manager for taking ownership. I would havegone one stp further aned asked for his manager’s email to let him know just how well he performed. I have had waiters fired on the spot due to this type of behavior and felt no remorse for his loss of income. They bring it upon themselves.

    Unfortunately, it seems that negative behavior is present in so many areas and customer service has gone down the tubes. When I do receive exemplary or outstanding service, I never miss the oppportunity to let the manager know how fortunate they are to have that employee on board…but I digress.

    I had bought a $50 Amazon Card at Walgreens for my grandaughter.
    When we talked, she said she would prefer one to a music store, so I kept it. After about 3-4 days (I still had the receipt) I tried to use it and the card only had $25. I tried to recollect if anything special happened on that purchase and I recalled the cashier was “having trouble” loading the card. I then became suspicious that he had loaded $25 on my card and later helped himself to $25 cash so the drawer would balance.

    I took the card and receipt back to Walgreens. This 20-something year old green/pink haired aneroxic assistant manager with facial piercings and sleeve tatoos came out to talk to me. I am not one to judge – but her postue indicated an immediate attitude of “higher authority”, cocking her head, snapping gum and shaking her head at me – “Wassup?” I thought “OK, stay cool and just tell her what happened”.

    As she continued to chew and snap her gum while talking to me, she looked at the receipt and said, “No way-I was working that night and my drawer wasn’t off”. Well DUH! it wouldn’t be if the cashier had swiped the money.

    You’ll have to take this up with Amazon. I looked at her with disbelief.
    “I didn’t buy this through Anmazon, I bought it from you,” I said.
    “Sorry, there’s nothing I can do about it’ She stonewalled me.

    To make a long story short, I didn’t let it go. I may have lost $25.00 in the deal-she lost her job and so did the cashier.

    Take ownership!! Turn that negative situation into something positive.
    BTW, after about a month, I received a nice letter from Walgreens HQ with a $25 Amazon Card. I still shop there to this day.

    Like

  2. Yep. Everyone else’s responsibility but theirs. Yet the one people will remember is the staff member who went out of their way to fix a problem, find the customer someone to talk to who knew the answers to the questions they were asking, or simply went above and beyond what it was their place to do.

    Like

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