Accountability goes farther

While shopping for furniture with my mom last Saturday, we decided to stop at a new restaurant in the area, Patrick’s, for lunch. My mom had eaten there once before and said something about dessert, at which point I blacked out because the next thing I remember, we were in a booth.

The young man who served us, Andrew, was pretty typical: Friendly, lightly conversational, detailed when taking our order. It was good service but nothing to rave over.

At Patrick’s, they ask that you order dessert when you order the entrees, which we did. After our lunch plates were cleared, Andrew stopped by and asked how it was, and we said, “Great, just waiting for dessert.” He repeated what we had ordered back to us to confirm and went to the kitchen.

After about a minute, he came back and said, “So I have to admit fault here. I completely missed adding your dessert when I entered your lunch order, so it is going to take a few extra minutes to arrive. I am so sorry for this mix-up. Can I get you each a macaroon on the house while you wait?”

Free dessert? Yes please.

At that point, we became huge Andrew fans. It didn’t matter that he messed up the order and temporarily delayed our shopping. He was accountable. He knew he made a mistake, and he was humble and genuinely apologetic. For all we knew, the kitchen made the error – he didn’t have to come over and tell us. However, because he did, we gave him all 5s on the comment card that came with our bill and raved about him to a manager who asked about our meal.

There is something we can learn from Andrew and start applying in our businesses today. Customer service is not doing everything perfectly with a smile – it’s relating to other people. You get a lot of leeway with customers if you’re honest with them, even if you are at fault. Customer service is treating your customers the way you want to be treated – not just as a customer with money to spend, but as a human being.

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