We dropped into an upscale fast food restaurant for lunch. Being 2pm, we figured we’d eat and dash in 30 minutes.
Taking our order, the manager promised prompt service. He said the same thing 20 minutes later, and 15 minutes after that.
We considered getting our money back and leaving, but it’s not pretty when I’m “Hangry.” So we stayed.
45 minutes after ordering we got our food, choking it down and running like lunatics. Though two customers were obviously agitated, the manager barely mumbled something about being short-staffed. No apology or discount towards future meals was proffered.
There was, in fact, no indication that he cared that we’d been inconvenienced.
And no chance we’ll ever return there.
Admittedly, there was a HELP WANTED sign in the window and we went in anyway. Perhaps the Latin saying “Caveat Emptor” (“Let the buyer beware”) applied here.
But we were customers…the lifeblood of any business…and he made zero effort to placate us.
There’s a serious labor shortage these days, and this manager’s challenge of finding staff is merely the tip of the iceberg.
Because whatever you sell, odds are excellent you’ll run into this problem sooner or later.
My dad used to tell me that at some point problems arise in every business. How those problems are dealt with tells you what someone is made of.
So if you’re short-staffed hire new people. Can’t find new people? Raise salaries. Or automate. Or work longer hours yourself.
But whatever you do, do NOT shove the problem onto your customers, because they don’t care.
The truth is customers come to you seeking a solution to make their own lives easier. They want to pay you a reasonable price, solve whatever their difficulty is, and forget about you until the next time they need you. Period.
You may become friends too, but that’s the rare exception.
Harsh, isn’t it? But I promise you that making your customers suffer for your setbacks will persuade them to find alternative resources. You, and you alone, will be hurt.
And remember the line from Fiddler on the Roof; “If you had a bad week, why should I suffer?”
With that said, I wish you a week of profitable marketing.
Understand your customers better at www.askmrmarketing.com.