If you’re familiar with our work here at Mom Ink, you’ll know that we’re mad about customer service. We are firmly of the belief that delivering outstanding customer service is one of the cheapest, most effective ways to differentiate yourself from the competition.
It was therefore with mixed feelings that I read about Jen Agg’s method for dealing with difficult customers. When Agg got frustrated one recent Saturday night at her restaurant, the owner of The Black Hoof took to Twitter with the following words:
Dear (almost) everyone in here right now. Please, please stop being such a douche.
This wasn’t the first time Agg has used Twitter to vent her anger toward her customers. You can check out some of her other choice comments here.
Agg’s argument, and that of a growing number of other restaurateurs, is that people can be publicly rude to servers, but servers have no right to be publicly frustrated with that behaviour.
While I can understand Agg’s frustration, I don’t agree with her method of dealing with it. Believe me, as a small business owner, I appreciate that customers can be unreasonable, and sometimes even rude. But here’s the thing: I chose to go into business for myself. I chose to make a product and put it out there. I put myself in a position where sometimes people are going to express their dissatisfaction.
At Admiral Road, we’ve taken a path that’s 180-degrees opposite from Agg. Our mantra is simple: The customer is always right. Truly, what is the point in trying to argue it differently, regardless of whether the customer is actually right or not? What is the upside to getting into it with a customer who has chosen to be rude, unreasonable or dissatisfied?
In our experience, killing with kindness works every time. More significantly, from a business perspective, it simply takes the potential to argue off the table.
We think Agg could consider taking the arguing off the table at The Black Hoof too.