Over the past couple of weeks, it’s been holiday time; half-term holidays.
It’s been a time for family, time for playing with the kids, visiting interesting places and generally having some fun.
It’s also been a chance to go out and enjoy some delicious food and check out the customer experience.
I love many different types of food. I particularly like Italian food and I’m also quite partial to burgers every now and again.
During this holiday, it’s great that we had the chance to visit a couple of restaurants here in Edinburgh that do both.
Proper New York Italian Restaurant and Bars no less! How authentic they were though, I have no idea.
Lunch One – How not to do things
Lunch with my parents, me, my wife and the two kids. My daughter was tired, never a good start to proceedings.
We were shown to our table which we had pre-booked. Very interesting setting too, over-looking the harbour and out over the Firth of Forth to the Kingdom of Fife.
The restaurant was busy but not manic. We had asked for lunch menus but were given breakfast menus. The waiter seemed a little pre-occupied, almost hassled.
After we were seated it took 20 minutes for him to approach us. So that’s drinks sorted and menus changed. Another 20 minutes went by.
The couple on the table next to us get up and walk out. They only arrived five minutes after us and decide they have waited long enough.
Finally the drinks arrive and we order the food. My son is really looking forward to some pizza.
Another twenty minutes and the food arrived for the adults. Why do they do that? I really don’t understand why restaurants do that.
They need to bring the kid’s food first. They’re impatient, starting to fidget. Another five minutes and finally we all have our food.
By the time we’ve all finished, the waiter’s not been anywhere near us since he gave us the food.
It’s really not worth waiting around to get another course or coffee. Definitely not going to leave a tip.
Another 10 minutes go by, we decide to pay at the bar and then leave quite dissatisfied with the service and the experience.
Lunch Two – A lesson in the customer experience
Different location, same chain of restaurants. Not quite the same view as the other restaurant. Just me, my wife and kids this time.
The restaurant is very busy.
We’re shown to our table and immediately a friendly waitress comes over and introduces herself.
She makes us feel welcome, chats with the kids and asks what we’d like to drink.
When she comes back with the drinks a few minutes later, she brings crayons and a colouring book.
Are we ready to order? Oh Yes, most definitely.
We order, the waitress offers some extra vegetables for free with the food and then we wait.
The food arrives in what seems like only a couple of minutes. I really don’t remember how long it did take.
And, the food arrived all at the same time. No waiting for the kids food. Spot on.
We ordered ice cream for the kids, my wife and I had coffee and because we were so pleased with the service we left a generous tip.
The service was excellent. The kids even got a balloon to take away with them.
My son lost his on the way to the car but the restaurant gave us another one. Perfect.
Customer Experience Matters
Two different restaurants owned by the same company yet we had a completely different experience in both.
I know which lunch I enjoyed the most! Can you guess?
The staff left me feeling welcome and I want to visit again. They were friendly, helpful and attentive. The complete opposite of the other restaurant.
Sometimes the small details can make the an experience so much more fulfilling.
Customers remember good service and great products but it’s equally important that the first point of contact goes well.
Being welcoming, friendly, helpful and prompt defines a reputation and potential future business.
And gaining loyalty and a following is about reaching out and making a connection.
I find this to be equally true in building a blog. You need to:
- provide a first-rate service to your readers by giving them quality content;
- engage with your readers by encouraging comments and responding to them;
- reach out and help with any questions your readers may have;
- reach out to other bloggers to create a community on your blog.
Now I’d like to open this up to discussion and look forward to receiving any comments you may have.
Do you place any importance on customer experience? Is it relevant to building your blog? How do you handle a negative experience?
P.S. I would be grateful if you could please share this post on all of your favourite networks. Many thanks for reading.