Saturday, March 22, 2014

When a Company Successfully Apologizes

I thought I'd share the good customer care experience I had with a popular local restaurant.

I have not been able to cook dinner as often as I'd want to so we've been buying prepared food almost every night. Early this week Jay picked me up from work and we headed to the mall near home so we could get food. We decided to head to one of our favorite restos on the top floor. There was quite a number of customers but we were willing to wait.

When we were finally entertained by the cashier I saw her annoyance when Jay requested for a menu. I saw her rub her tummy so I assumed she was pregnant and probably tired from working for so many hours, so I just ignored her untoward behavior. But it happened again. We were about to give our order when she suddenly entertained another customer who was paying. I thought it was really rude that she just suddenly cut us off that way. I kept patient.

After we ordered we said that we were just going to come back since we needed to buy something nearby. While we were out I emailed the customer service email printed on the receipt to give feedback. I reported that it was the first time I experienced getting bad service from their staff since they opened over a decade ago. I also mentioned that maybe the company should give more time for their pregnant employees to rest. I decided to report it over email because I was already hungry and didn't have any energy to argue.

When we came back our order wasn't ready yet and we waited a long time to get our takeout. When we finally got the food we immediately went home so we could eat. We were actually ecstatic that we got big pieces that night. Our happiness soon turned to sadness because the food was not fully cooked inside. Only Miguel was happy that night because he ordered something else. We decided not to eat the food anymore because we got scared of food poisoning. I took a photo of the item and sent it to the same thread I started with their customer care.

I got a response from customer care early the next day. They apologized and said that they would investigate on the matter. Before the day ended they gave feedback and apologized again about the behavior of their staff (who was btw not pregnant apparently). They also said they would review the cooking process of the branch and offered a refund and a replacement of the food we didn't enjoy - a fully cooked version. I responded by saying that we appreciate their quick reply and apology, declined the refund but said that I would accept the replacement of my order.

Today the restaurant made good their promise and delivered the replacement of the food on the dot. The branch manager also came (although I was asleep since I just came from a trip) and delivered their apology again in person. We truly appreciate the effort that the restaurant gave especially since it's one of our favorites. I actually couldn't eat their food for a good five years due to allergies, but now I've been eating this viand almost everyday. This is the customer care that I've been looking for. Other companies do really bad in it. They would respond and then there isn't any follow-up nor any sincerity in their apology.

It's easy to say sorry, but saying this with sincerity is what's important.  

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