Experiences of an Enlightened Customer – When to be Patient

pizza-delivery-customer This is a very simple example but one that we, as consumers, should remember when dealing with companies. Companies should also read this to take note on how to treat customers properly.

As young parents, my wife and I order in food at least once a week. We don’t have a choice although we know that it’s not the best for us. We ordered a pizza , a dipping sauce and some drinks from a local pizza chain, Pizza Pizza. When the driver arrived he gave us our order but was missing the dipping sauce. When I noticed it was missing I asked him what happened.

Own up to Your Mistakes

The driver could have handled this in a few ways. He could have denied the mistake happened, blamed me, or laughed it off as a computer glitch. Instead he took full responsibility. He said he simply forgot them in the rush to get his orders delivered. I told him that my wife really enjoys the dipping sauce (the reason why we ordered them).

Think Long-Term

I could have handled this in two ways. I could have been irate, yelled at him and demanded that he compensate me for his own negligence or I could have taken a second approach – which I did. There are many pizza places around so I know that I can always go somewhere else but I happened to like Pizza Pizza. They’re generally reliable, they’re prices are good and I have not experienced many mistakes. I also know that this same driver will probably deliver my next pizza so is it worth it to turn into a crazed lunatic over this?

While I could have demanded a refund for the pizza or some other request that probably wouldn’t have been met, I kept my cool. I told the driver I understand that mistakes happen and that it’s not a big deal. The driver thanked me for being understanding and told me that he would make this up to me. While outwardly I kept a pleasant demeanour, I told myself that I would be watching these guys and not tolerate another mistake without letting the driver and possibly the head office hear about it.

Sure enough, a week later when we get our next order, the driver arrived on time, with the correct order and had a smile on his face. And oh yes, he had something extra for us to make up for his mistake – free dipping sauces. He again thanked us for being so understanding the previous week.

The Takeaway

You may be saying – this is over a stupid dipping sauce. How is this relevant to me? As I said, it’s a very simple example but the lessons run deep. If companies want to succeed, they need to train their employees on how to deal with mistakes that happen. Don’t shy away from them – take responsibility and make things right to the customer.

Enlightened customers should choose their battles carefully – know when to express your anger to show you mean business and think about the long-term consequences of your actions. That isn’t saying that you should let others take advantage of you and accept shoddy service. It’s a fine line but one you need to consider when you’re in these situations.

Chad H.

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