Communication Is Your Customer Service

Image representing GrubHub as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

How many of you are familiar with GrubHub?  It’s an online ordering system that brings local restaurants to customers at the stroke of a key.  You enter your address and it pulls of dozens of restaurants in your immediate area with the option of pick up or delivery. Everything you need to order is on your screen from the menu to the prices to the location and restaurant number.  It even gives you the option of adding special instructions for those that live in more ‘complicated’ areas.  You can share, rate and recommend any restaurant on there to friends and those in your social media circles.  And the best part, this Illinois based company has a 24 hour customer service line should anything go wrong with your order.

Or when something goes wrong with your order.

Nothing in life is perfect and most of us except that.  Orders get mixed up, dry-cleaning gets lost, pets run away (the minor things).  But sitting on the other end as a customer waiting for my food for about an hour and a half, is a minor thing but a big thing for a restaurant business.  GrubHub was bringing customers to these restaurants without them ever having to leave the comfort of their home, but restaurant owners aren’t utilizing this leverage to its fullest.  They leave a huge void in the customer-business dynamic.  Communication. GrubHub itself is pretty responsive in requesting feedback and taking care of shortcomings.  Now forgive me for the observation here, (because this was made from a poor one-time experience, but as the rest of us have learned, sometimes all it takes it is one time for a whole lot of dong to hit the fan), but why was I never called to be informed that my order was going to take a little longer, or that the driver had just left and he was on his way?  After all, I did enter my number with ‘special instructions’ in case those special instructions needed further instructions.  But not once did the restaurant (employees, ’cause buildings don’t talk) I ordered from call me to let me know my food was on the way or thanked me for my patience.  It was a weekend night they were probably backed up on orders.  Maybe the driver didn’t have a phone.  Nope!  He had a phone because when the ‘special instructions’ failed, he had to call me and ask where exactly was my door.

Ever noticed when something goes wrong or takes longer than expected, you, the customer has to initiated communication? Bigger companies and corporations have figured this out a while ago (well, a good number of them, at least).  They know when customers have to wait longer than expected or something changes, if you keep them updated as to what’s going on, they’re much more forgiving than if you keep them in the dark.  People like to be informed, especially about their purchases and everything tied to it.  It’s easier for them to be patient and understanding when they know why.  Small companies may believe they don’t have the resources to provide such an added luxury.  WRONG ANSWER!  If you have customers, then you better believe customer service is top priority.  I’m not saying customer service absolves any and all problems your company will ever have.  But it’ll keep customers from turning away from your business.

Not many people enjoy tackling customer concerns, it can be a bear of a job.  Perhaps that’s why it feels like so few restaurants that deliver only speak when necessary.  But anytime a customer or client exchanges their information with you, value that opportunity to communicate with them.  You’re not just looking for the transaction, but building a long-term relationship.  Take that opportunity, they’re not always given.  And never shy away from being honest when things hit a rough patch.  Transparency makes communication easier to handle.

{photo credit: Crunchbase}

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2 thoughts on “Communication Is Your Customer Service

  1. I completely agree with your post. Communication is the key to keeping customers and anyone you deal with happy. What a difference it would make if this was taken into consideration.

    Sophia
    twentyfiveseasons.com

  2. […] Communication Is Your Customer Service (intelboutique.wordpress.com) […]

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