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Many business's dont know about customer service

Discussion in 'Small Business' started by Darlinghurst Boy, 12th Dec, 2015.

  1. Darlinghurst Boy

    Darlinghurst Boy Well-Known Member

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    im not an expert on customer service but have a lot of experience with different kinds of people being a ex taxi driver and ex pub doorman.

    Take these scenarios which I saw or have been involved in.

    1/ A Customer (you) goes to a the same Cafe at least 3 to 4 times a week and sometimes has your business work social breakfasts or lunches there, and you have done for over 5 years.

    The Cafe in recent weeks has been sold from the old Italian couple who used to run it to a young Chinese couple even though they know you as a regular customer.
    You the Customer has brought two of your work colleagues along for a mid morning lunch.

    They all order the big breakfast and coffee.
    One of your work colleagues knocks over the white coffee cup and it falls on the ground brken.
    The staff clean it up.She was very embarrassed but they bring another.

    At the end you offers to pay the food bill as there's no split bills.

    You see the owner at the cash register who You met dozens of times before and was introduced to her by the previous owners.
    Your work colleagues are standing just near you as you get your card out to pay.
    The owner shouts out 80 dollar ... 80 dollar !!!!!

    You query her ... Wow that sounds a bit expensive?
    She then says ... Yeah she break cup... Cup 10 dollar ... And new coffee 4 dollar !!

    Your workmate then rushes up embarrassed and offering to pay .
    But you say to the owner ... Ten dollars for a white cup ????
    She shaking her head ... Yes cup expensive !!
    Rather than argue you give her card and she paypasses it and you collect your teceipt.

    Now think as the owner of that Cafe what would you have done ??

    2/ Im in one of those "dollar type " shops in Darlinghurst... Browsing away... There is a young girl of Asian appearance behind the counter .
    In comes an elderly man with a walking stick ... I overhear his conversation saying he had bought this duct tape but couldnt open it with his hands.
    She then says to him that this is not part of the service in opening the packet and i guess the duct tape.
    He said can i return it then as i cant use it .
    Eventually i got closer to the counter ... She said no you cant return it and she will charge 2 dollars to open it ... I then stepped in and said to the guy do you want me to open it ?
    He turned around and said yes ... But she already had it in her hand and said "its ok I will do it this time for free but not in future ok"
    So i then left the store.
    Now whilst your thinking this was an employee she apprently was the owners daughter.
    Now i can understand it if she was just a emloyee but when your an owner ?????

    3/ There used to be a business cafe under a building opposite Hyde Park Sydney , some early mornings i would stop there , 530am / 6am ... A few mornings i would stop for a bacon saysage egg roll, the place had been bought by a older couple in their 50's ... They didnt seem to have much experience ... As i would stop to order one morning the husband shouts from the kitchen to his wife " tell him everythings frozen !!!! And he'll have to wait !!
    So Im thinking if there running a business wouldnt you thaw everything out the night before ???
    So the next few days i try it again only this time at different time.
    Young tradies were lined up trying to buy food.
    The older woman owner was making the coffees and it seems they needed staff as it was very busy only thing is the old man kept shouting back to her from the kitchen , ""tell them they will have to wait at least 20 minutes for their food " after she was shouting in orders to him "tell em they'll have to wait !!!
    Now i knew this place wasnt going to last , and after that every morning I would keep walking past going onto the next takewawy shop rather than that one.
    Exactly a year to the day they bought it ... It had a FOR Lease sign on the door .. Now the Thanos Cafe had been there over 20 years... And it took only one year to destroy it .

    Now obviously i wasnt there the 10 hours a day it was open... But i can speculate that the "fast service" tradies and office workers had in the past and still wanted was not there anymore leading them to walk a bit further onto another cafe.
    Also the older guy was very grumpy and no hello or anything like that, it seemed an inconvenience for you to ask for anything from him.

    Maybe they had no experience in the food business before I dont know, but they lost their money .
    Now i see someone else has rented it and its back up again after the shop was vacant a few months.
    I dont know the rent they were paying but i really think they could of made a go of that if they had people skills.
    Some people dont have people skills.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 12th Dec, 2015
  2. Biz

    Biz Well-Known Member

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    I would have sent in the German boy with an angle grinder.
     
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  3. bob shovel

    bob shovel Well-Known Member

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    German boy needs to get on the pottery wheel
     
  4. bob shovel

    bob shovel Well-Known Member

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    Screenshot_2015-12-12-17-32-58.jpg
     
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  5. willair

    willair Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I bet you would have some good stories to tell being a ex Pub front door exit person..
     
  6. wylie

    wylie Moderator Staff Member

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    I once had a lady praise my good service. (I get plenty of praise for being helpful but this example stunned me.) I smiled and said "It's a shame my boss never hears these comments." She said "I might just do something about that." About a week later our store received a letter from the local newspaper as someone had nominated it for a customer service award. Coincidence? I don't think so.

    I was feeling very pleased with myself until my boss came outside on the shop floor, slammed down the letter and said "f&$@ing hell, I haven't got time for this crap - they want me to fill in a survey."

    As a consumer I appreciate friendly service. As an employee I enjoy helping people. My boss wants great sales numbers but has next to zero people skills. She doesn't see the looks on faces when she is too busy or just rude to them. If she was my employee... well, she would not be my employee!

    Some people should not be dealing with the public at all.
     
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  7. jrc

    jrc Well-Known Member

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    Tourist town - chinese restaurant open for lunch 12-2. at 1.30 will only let you order takeaway.

    anothertourist town ona major highway both cafesclosed on oublic holiday
     
  8. bob shovel

    bob shovel Well-Known Member

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    @wylie it usually makes a difference if the compliment comes direct in a letter. It's a shame your boss blew off the award and you didn't get named somehow

    Being the dodgey guy I am it was a huge surprise for co-workers to see my crews get letters from the public. People were happy with their work (digging up front and back yards) and some asked how to thank them or what to get them (there a few cases and even wine:)) but I'd suggest to take the time to write a letter. Made a huge difference and they were thanked directly and it made the powers to be actually aware that they were doing good
     
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  9. wylie

    wylie Moderator Staff Member

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    I agree Bob. My boss is a nice enough person who has been dealing with rubbish from higher up for so long it has tainted her attitude. There are so many things we have to do that are nonsensical as our higher up bosses have mostly never worked "in" a shop.

    One daily example is price changes. They want us to be customer focused and not do "behind the scenes" work but some days will require us to individually sticker more than 700 products when a simple large sign stating 15% off all "whatever product" would save hours of our time. I have offered to my immediate boss that I can write a list of things that don't work on the shop floor or simply waste our time and take us away from our customers but she says (from her own experience) that they don't listen and they will punish her if I do so.

    So I just do my best. I enjoy my job and just shake my head at some of the crazy requirements we get from above.
     
  10. Xenia

    Xenia Adelaide Property Manager Business Member

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    You don't have to be an expert in customer service to know this is just not ok.

    Losing a good client over a $10 cup is a very expensive business descision to make. Especially in a cafe where replacement costs are factored into the cost of doing business.
     
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  11. bob shovel

    bob shovel Well-Known Member

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    That's all you can do in those situations and it is unfortunate, your not paid to think o_O It's usually the boss is threatened by you, or has little idea and treading water themselves or a combination.
    The best way is to sit back and watch things fall apart I think, but find your little wins elsewhere or do things to help your job and make it enjoyable.
     
  12. Jeah_

    Jeah_ Well-Known Member

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    I think many businesses get this ass backwards. I've always subscribed to the Richard Branson model of businesses putting employees first, then they will want to take care of the customer.
     
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  13. Travelbug

    Travelbug Well-Known Member

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    Many people don't think beyond the present. Unfortunately good service is hard to come by and the number of staff seems to be declining. I went shopping yesterday and had to line up to get to the register to ask the 2 shop assistants where something was. And don't get me started on the Woolies self serve registers.

    OK 2 stories.
    Many years ago we used to go to a local restaurant once a month with the kids. The meals were great and very reasonable. The owner was always there and came to have a chat. This went on for over a year. Then we went in and the boss informed us that he had sold the restaurant. "Oh no!" we said. Don't worry he said as the chef had bought it so it will be the same. We went in at our usual time a month later. The meals were much smaller and the prices quite a bit higher. We never went back.

    Last month 2 teenage boys knocked on the door asking if we wanted our cars washed. It was $15 and $20 if you wanted it chamoised. In 15 minutes they were back having finished my hubby's car. He said that they had been quick. Anyway the job was crap, with missed bits etc. So when they came back yesterday I explained how making money works. I applauded their initiative but explained that instead of making $15 once, had they taken a little pride in their work they could have made $15 every fortnight. Oh well!
     
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  14. 2FAST4U

    2FAST4U Well-Known Member

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    LOL! That's stingy as making somebody pay for an accidentally broken cup. I hope you do yourself a favour and boycott that cafe from now on.
     
  15. sanj

    sanj Well-Known Member

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    Really silly by the cafe owner, especially when it was accidental.

    What so many business owners dont consider is that a mistake or a negative in some way is actually often a great opportunity to turn it into something positive. If you approach the situation correctly and handle it well the disappointed customer can end up being one of your biggest advocates.

    Mistakes happen in businesses all the time. How you handle that mistake or disappointed customer or employee determines what's important. Unfortunately many hospitality operators are so jaded by the number of idiots out there that it clouds their judgement. The general public has certainly played a role in that. It's often forgotten that the customer plays a part too, we have an obligation to be a good customer just as they do to be a good cafe or whatever but the number of entitled idiots out there is astounding based on what I've heard from many people in the industry.
     
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  16. geoffw

    geoffw Moderator Staff Member

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    Now that I'm older I've become a lot more invisible. Many times a younger person will get served while I get ignored.

    It cost one business heaps. I was with my wife looking for a new car. We had it narrowed down to two models of different makes.

    So we went to one dealer. And stood there and waited for service. Another couple came in and were served.
     
  17. EN710

    EN710 Well-Known Member

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    Are you sure it's not just the shop/ dealer? I always think older = more stable= can spend more than young people. How old are we talking about, if I may ask?
    This happen to us, well, mainly me. All the time. Most sales person speak 'to the man of the house' first, but that maybe just my impression. I may have given the vibe of "don't talk to me" o_O
     
  18. willair

    willair Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    The trick is just jump in the car you want and start it up ,works alright on V8's when your inside the showroom..
     
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  19. Lizzie

    Lizzie Well-Known Member

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    I have often been complimented on my customer service - but, as a customer in situation too, I think it's very important to keep customers in the loop as to exactly what is happening with their order - or more than happy, when times are quiet, to stand and chat with a likeminded customer who may only eventually buy one $5 product.

    And people keep coming back.

    As an example I saw of good customer service - out for a breakfast meeting with a colleague - the handle broke off his coffee cup and the coffee split all down his shirt - not only did they race over to clean him up and replace the coffee - they offered to buy him a new (very expensive) shirt.

    But I have seen so many examples of terrible customer service and scratch my head ... we had a very (very very) successful local café. So successful the husband and wife team sold it due to burnout. The café was always packed to the point the staff would have to, very apologetically, turn customers away.

    The new young couple came in and changed absolutely everything - from the menu, to the layout, to the costs - and then they wonder why the business has gone down the gurgler ... I'll tell you why! ... under the old owners you could go in and have a slab of homemade quiche with small trio of salad on the side, large coffee in a mug and a piece of homemade cake/slice for around $20-25 ... under the new owners I ordered the brisket on some fancy roll and a coffee - it came out a slice of dry meat with a sliver of cheese and some mayo on a white bun, not a skerrick of green anywhere, and the coffee was in a small teacup (no sweets) for $20 ... will never go back, and it looks like no one else is either.

    I never understand why someone buys a business that is successful - and then changes it
     
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  20. SeafordSunshine

    SeafordSunshine Well-Known Member

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    So sad but true!
    Great Customer service is seamless, and you don't 'miss it' till its gone! First impressions are lasting but dangerous.. Great Thread OP! Real Estate is no different! thats when the real professionals clean up! Cheers