A couple weeks ago, I had written a post of our poor experience at our favorite fine dining establishment. After all this time, I really thought our complaints fell on deaf ears. We felt disappointed. Was our favorite place going down the tubes?
Again, we were very tactful in describing our poor dining experience. In our e-mail, we never asked for any sort of compensation either. My wife and I know both have worked customer service jobs, so we know what goes on. In the end, we just really wanted to let them know of our experience so they can prevent it in the future. If no one says anything, how will they know?
Low and behold, we received a response yesterday evening! I’d like to share their response:
First of all, I would like to apologize for the delay in responding to your e-mail. It turns out that my e-mail box had a problem, and I was only receiving some of my messages for about 2 weeks. Since some were getting through, I didn’t realize that there was an issue. I didn’t actually see your e-mail until about a week after you sent it. THEN, because of how many back-logged e-mails I had at that point, I had to play catch-up for days, and some of the messages got “lost in the shuffle”. Unfortunately, yours was one of them.
That being said, I did investigate what happened to your server that evening. It seems that one of his other tables had allergy issues, and while we have a very good allergen reference list, they had an “unusual” allergy that wasn’t covered by it. Your waiter ended up having to research which of our food items were safe, and which were not. It pulled his focus away at what appeared to be the critical juncture for you.
Unfortunately, this excuse that I have just given you still does not change the fact that your service that evening was not up to our usual standard. I’d like the chance to make it up to you…to prove that we are still the restaurant with the best service and food in town! If you would be willing to send me your address, I would be happy to send you a certificate to help pay for your next trip into [our restaurant].
Again, very sorry for the delay in responding to you. I’ll hope to hear back from you soon!
I really have to say I was impressed with the response the manager had provided. It really showed that they really value customer service. In this case, there was an issue that was just circumstantial and we were caught in the middle of it. In the beginning, we never intended to get anything out of it. So we are very pleased that they would compensate our poor experience by personally inviting us back.
So, if you have any customer service issues in the future, avoid being the person who blows up in front of everyone. Being calm and tactful in your explanation seems to get you further. Go into it not expecting anything to come out of it and something does, it’s just a nice bonus!