Learn the five steps to turn upset customers into loyal customers who can then become fans of your business.
- Years ago, I owned a restaurant in Hollywood. We had a lot of celebrities that would come in to dine. One night, a film celebrity came in to dine with his wife. He ordered a medium-rare steak, easy. But when it got to his table, it was cooked well done. He was livid, yelling at our server, so I stepped in. And what did I do to turn around that customer? I followed five simple steps. First, I let the customer vent. He said he had a show later and you know, I nodded in agreement and said "I understand." I let him vent without saying a word until he was finished.
While he was complaining, I motioned to my server to get another steak for him immediately. Second, show empathy. When he finally ran out of steam, I calmly said, "I totally understand. "It's super frustrating for me when a restaurant makes a mistake on my order too." Third, solve the problem. I told him, "We're already preparing you a new one, "and I promise it'll be perfectly cooked "and at your table ASAP. "Can I buy you and your wife another glass of wine?" He took a deep breath, and he said "Yes".
Fourth, give an item of unexpected value. I personally delivered his steak to his table and I told him, "Not only am I going to comp "both of your meals, here's a gift certificate "to have another dinner on me, "if you think we deserve a second chance." I asked him, "How's the steak?" He smiled and said "Really good." Finally, humor can diffuse heated situations. Before my customer left, I made a joke, and I said, "Hey, I give you permission to use this scene "in your next film, see if you can get "Denzel Washington to play my part." He laughed and he said he'd work on it.
He later apologized for losing his cool. I didn't know whether this customer would ever come back. But guess what? He and his wife came back about every week after that. They became raving fans and gave us amazing catering opportunities for celebrity events. So use these strategies for the rest of your career. Practice, and watch it work its magic.