Bad Service + Bad Experience = Less Likely to Return

After yesterday's experience, I'm still so upset about it -I wanted to make note of it here. After all, that is why I started blogging in the first place: to just tell my own thoughts and opinions in a public space.
I'm certain that the people can make or break a business.
Case in point: Last night, I went to our favorite gelato place (you'll see it listed here, if you want to read more). This place has been consistent in the past. Fantastic ice cream with unique flavors, terrific java and the customer service was simply friendly and helpful.
NOT so last night.
The place was very quiet. We walked in and the guy behind the counter didn't even acknowledge our existence. So WE said hello first. He was so dismissive about having customers. He was playing on his phone. (Probably texting his mom.)
I still took a look at the various gelatos behind the glass, noticing immediately that they looked a tad melted. Well, not a tad - quite a bit. I mentioned this to my husband and ONLY then, did Mr. No-Congeniality say that it was his co-worker's fault. My husband didn't seem too bothered, as he still thought it would be ok. He still asked the zombie-like ice cream dude about the flavors and received a very icy response (no pun intended). Begrudgingly, he gave my husband a couple of samples to try. (In past visits, the service would have the spoons ready for customers to try right away -without having to ask. AND with a smile!)
I tried asking about the pastry that they normally have available because the melty-gelato wasn't doing it for me. With a very disinterested tone that has been his schtick since we walked in the door, I was informed that, "Yeah, that didn't sell very well. We have muffins now."
No pastry, no melted ice cream. No service.
I was so completely uninspired by this zombie behind the counter, that I didn't even want to have the coffee that I've raved about in the past.
So - business owners with a service-base: no matter WHAT you sell, if you have hired mediocre people to work for you, you can kiss your reputations goodbye. Your products won't sell and people WON'T go back.

4 comments:

  1. OMG!!! The outrage!!! I thought it was bad enough living in this world with our country on the verge of economic collapse and the rest of the world far worse off, but I can only imagine the stark HORROR of ... I can barely say it ... having to SAY HELLO FIRST at the gelato store.

    You must be DEVISTATED!!! And to think you actually SURVIVED the VERY SIGHT of melted ice cream PLUS not having your PASTRY!!! Don't they realize WHO YOU ARE???

    I only hope you're mentally strong enough and have the proper emotional support structure around you to survive this ordeal long enough until we can start a foundation to help delicate flowers like you navigate through the cruel, cruel world of mean men at gelato counters.

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  2. Quite frankly, I'm going to need a support group to help me get through poor examples of sarcasm, run-on sentences and bad spelling.
    Although, I might live through it.
    Time will tell.

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  3. I hear ya. Those of us in the food world, do get upset at bad service, notably more so than the typical non-foodie, because we care.

    We can think through what it means for the business owner, to have hired some dull, bored, or downright nasty person to man the counters... bad service, leads to bad experience for customers, leads to less customers, etc. basically, less business.

    There was a time when people were proud of their jobs and took pains to offer great customer service. It was their integrity which fueled them, not how they felt about their less-than-envious jobs, or personal problems that determined whether they were going to be good workers and overall good people to others.

    But as food writers, we need to take care in how we judge a business. 100 attaboys and we're good, and one "oh shit" and it's all over?

    What your blog tells me is that the business owner is usually pretty good in finding great servers, but he/she let this one through. I'd bet the owner would delight in letting that one go and finding someone else with a better work ethic. The owner would need to know about the experience though, right?

    It's business. :)

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  4. Yes, thank you! And you're so right - it is a business. And I did let the owner know and I was told that it was "being addressed." Which, seriously, is all one could really ask for, when you really look at things holistically. :)

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