I Am The Customer – lessons for all businesses

300SquareYou often accuse me of carrying a chip on my shoulder – but I suspect that this is because you do not entirely understand me – is it not normal to expect satisfaction for ones’ money spent?

Ignore my wants and I will simply cease to exist.  Satisfy those wants and I will become increasingly loyal.  Add to its satisfaction any little extra personal attention and friendly touches you can conjure up and I will become a walking advertisement for your restaurant.

When I criticise your food or service, which I certainly do whenever I am displeased and to anyone who will listen to me, take heed. I am not dreaming up displeasures; the source of it lies in something you have failed to do to make my eating experience as enjoyable as I had anticipated.  You must find that source and eliminate it or you will lose me and my friends as well.

I insist on the right to dine leisurely or be treated in haste according to my mood, schedule or any other circumstance.  I refuse to be rushed and I abhor waiting.  This is an important privilege that my money buys from you.  And if I am not spending big money with you this time, just remember that if you treat me right, I will be back later with a larger appetite and more money to spend-and probably with a number of my friends.

I am much more sophisticated these days than I was just a few years ago.  I have grown accustomed to better things and my needs are more complex.  I am perfectly willing to spend more money with you, and I have more money to spend, but I insist on quality to match your prices.

I am above all, a human being.  I am sensitive, especially when I am spending money.  I cannot stand being snubbed, ignored or looked down upon.  I am proud.  My ego needs the nourishment of a friendly personal greeting from you.  It is important to me that you recognise my importance to you, that you appreciate my business.

Of course I am a bit of a show-off too, but do not condemn me for that because you are probably a little hammy at times yourself – just smile and indulge my whims as best you can.  Remember that while you are feeding me in the literal sense, my money is figuratively feeding you.

Whatever my personal habits may be, you can be sure of this – I am a real nut on cleanliness in restaurants.  Where food is concerned I demand the strictest sanitation measure.  I want my meals handled and served by the cleanest, neatest people and in sparkling, clean dishes.  If I detect such signs of carelessness as dirty fingernails, cracked dishes, dirty glasses and cutlery or soiled tablecloths, you will not see me again.

I am your customer now but you must prove to me again that I have made a wise choice in selecting your restaurant over others.  And you must also convince me repeatedly that being a restaurant customer is a desirable thing in the first place.  I can, after all, eat at home.

But you must provide something extra in food, presentation and service, something superior enough to beacon me away from my own table and draw me to yours.  You must provide me the incentive for me to eat out.

Do we understand each other?!

This outstanding explanation of service from a customers point of view has been around for years. I have not been able to find the source and therefor am not able to credit the author. Who ever you are – Thank you!

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