What a Mojito Taught Me About Customer Service

Several years ago, on a visit to the City of Bath to spend the day sight seeing, going to the theatre and enjoying some of the culinary delights on offer, I had an experience which changed the way I looked at customer service forever.

It was early evening and we decided on dinner at the Firehouse Rotisserie. We were me with a warm welcome and sat down to order our meal.

Before I had a chance to study the menu I was asked what I would like to drink. Knowing the restaurant was well known for it’s cocktails I asked for a Mojito.

“I’m sorry sir but we have a range of cocktails but a mojito isn’t one of them” came my reply. This wasn’t an issue, so I ordered another from the menu.

Then it was time to place the food order… Now as anyone who has ever dined with me will tell you, I’m a foodie, really passionate about what I eat. This means I usually have a question for the waiter/waitress and am known to request a tweak to my dish on occasion… and this time was no exception.

I asked the gentlemen serving me, “Would it be possible to combine several of your dishes here as I like the look of that main dish, with the vegetables from this dish and the potatoes from that dish?” whilst pointing at the menu.

“No problem Sir” he responded. Now I was excited and I sat back and relaxed in anticipation of the meal to follow.

Moments later our drinks arrived at the table and placed in front of me was a Mojito. Confused (but happy), I asked the same chap “But I thought you didn’t do Mojitos?” to which he replied

“Ordinarily we don’t, but I sent one of the staff out to buy the ingredients we were missing for you.”

“Wow, thank you!” I replied, “You must hate fussy buggers like me?”

His response is the whole purpose of this post. His response epitomises the culture of service that all of us should have in our businesses. His response changed the way I view requests from my own customers. He said…..

“No Sir, you are my favourite type of customer. Because you know exactly what you want, you are the easiest to please.”

Think about it, how many times have you dealt with indecisive clients, and because they weren’t clear on their requirements, they just weren’t quite satisfied when the job was done?

It turns out I was speaking with the owner of the restaurant, he became my customer services hero at that moment and I have been recommending him for years. You see great customer service has a long memory, as does poor customer service. Indifference though (the space in between), doesn’t motivate any action at all.

In an age of social proof, there is only one long term strategy for your business.

There are two major lessons from this experience for me…

1st, when you think a customer is being fussy and particular, re-frame it in your mind. They just know what they want, and are giving you the blue print to satisfying them. Give them what they want. Simples.

2nd, If a customer isn’t clear on what they want, don’t rush the sale. Help them find clarity first, then refer to lesson 1 above.

Now when I go into a restaurant I don’t feel quite so awkward, just self assured in my clarity