For the past three weeks, we have been running a series on new ventures. It started with an article inviting new ventures owners to treat extremely well their first time customers so that they can become their advertising agents.
That article gave an example of a rather negative first time experience in a new restaurant called “Zen”.
In today’s paper, your columnist has decided to publish entirely the response she got from the owner of that restaurant. The reason is as simple as this. This is exactly the type of positive attitude business owners should adopt when there are complaints.
I have often heard stories where certain service providers take complaints in the newspapers rather personal. Someone I know got himself into so many problems because he criticized a well known restaurant in the papers. So here below is the positive response I received;
“Dear Sandra, thank you for your article published in the New Times today regarding Zen Restaurant.
We apologise sincerely for the bad experience you have received in our restaurant and we have studied your article and are looking in this matter with great detail to ensure it does not happen again. In regards to the drinks you ordered we now have Port and Green Tea in our drinks menu.
We very much agree with your article where you state how important first time customers are and we have always mentioned this to our staff and to get everyone to understand how our business depends on customer satisfaction. We therefore feel really bad that you had a bad experience and we will do our utmost in ensuring that it will not happen again.
We hope you will come and try our food sometime soon and we have no doubt you will enjoy it. We have many repeat customers who enjoy our food, ambience and service and we understand how important it is for us to keep them happy as well as our new customers.
Large amounts of money in giving the people of Rwanda a ZEN experience and to introduce new cuisines in Rwanda and we hope that we will continue to see the great response we have received so far.
Once again we apologise for the poor service you received and we will make sure we work on the points raised by yourself to improve our service. We also have an article written by yourself in The Service Mag, Issue 3: Sept – Nov 2010 titled ‘Achieving Outstanding Service in your Restaurant’ and we will look at the points raised in this article and implement them in our restaurant.
We hope to see you again in our restaurant. Thank you. Management of ZEN Restaurant”.
If you are a business owner, the first thing to know when opening a new venture is that feedback – be it positive or negative – is an integral part to any process. Customer service is long and difficult journey in that, you need to satisfy each customer that uses your products/services.
An unknown author once said that “Customer complaints are schoolbooks from which we learn.” So learn to be grateful for complaints as they will help you to grow.
I don’t know yet when I will go back to this restaurant but I hereby solemnly promise to write about that future experience…hopefully, it will be a positive one.
The author is a customer service consultant working in Rwanda