Give the fish, don’t take the cheese
Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve had 2 different experiences ordering meals that have caused me to step back and think about what I like as a customer and as an extension of that, how I want to treat our customers.
2 weeks ago I ordered a cheese and salad wrap for lunch. I watched with disbelief at first, then amusement and finally with a little annoyance, when what was happening dawned on me. The person making the wrap added 3 pieces of cheese and then took multiple attempts to fish 1 of them off to ensure I received what I can only assume was some sort of mandated allowance of 2 pieces. I walked out thinking, “nothing really says you don’t want my business quite like reneging on a piece of cheese!”
Later that same week, I tried a new fish and chip shop that had been recommended to me. They have several coating options for the fish, which apparently they are quite famous for. I confessed when ordering that I had never been there before and didn’t really know what I wanted, but I settled on some sort of tempura inspired batter. The owner brought my order out to me when it was ready and told me that they had included a couple of extra pieces of fish with different coatings so I could try each of them and decide what I liked best, at no extra cost.
There are 2 things that I think are worth noting here. Firstly, no one recommended the sandwich shop to me and over the last week I have told several people of my ridiculous experience and suggested they give it a wide berth. Secondly, I went to the fish and chip shop because someone did actually recommend it to me and I was so impressed with their gesture that I have now recommended it to several other people.
This made me think about how I would like our customers to perceive us, and what I would like them to tell other companies about us. With that in mind, I have made a point to remind myself that whenever I deal with our customers, potential, new or existing; I will always go out of my way to give the fish and never take the cheese. It sounds so simple, but give it a go. I suspect that little bit of extra effort will be rewarded with good karma and maybe even new clients.
I am deliberately not naming either of the shops in this article because I don’t want to have to defend against a legal action over a piece of cheese and I also don’t want a load of people walking into the fish and chip shop and feigning indecision over what they want in the hope of free food!