Can great customer service be up to the customer?

Grumpy customer

Table of Death” was the expression he used ..

I had the most interesting conversation with an experienced restaurateur yesterday – our conversations are refreshing as he always has a different way of looking  at things.

Yesterday we were chatting about the importance of great customer service and how now, more than ever, it needs to tip top as the decisions about how someone spends their disposable income are much bigger than before.

He gave me an interesting perspective about how the customer can play a huge role in the service they experience.

In particular he spoke about the “Table of Death”, which is an expression his team uses when they spot a bunch of customers who just should not be on a night out. They arrive grumpy, every interaction with the service staff is curt and unpleasant and their whole demeanour is negative.

The staff pick up on this immediately and tense up and then as sure as night follows day “Murphy’s Law” kicks in – that will be the table where something gets spilled, someone gets bumped into, something gets overcooked and there will always be something wrong with the bill.

The tension that is created by the negative vibe of that group of customer’s just infects everything and everyone they touch – a good night guaranteed!

He reckons they get at least one group like that every second night and they can spot them nearly the minute they walk in the door.

I notice myself that the pleasant client will get more from our team. The really mannerly and appreciative client will get somersaults from our guys. When you hear our team saying “I love working on that account” or “they are my favourite client” you know that client will get the very best from us and will enjoy the best results from their investment.

For some reason some people have decided that the best approach to business is by being “nasty” – it might make people jump but it will never get the best from them.

Next time you go for a meal ask the waiting staff how their day was!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are an Irish Marketing, PR and Graphic Design agency with offices in Cork and Dublin

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