Sharon DeVellis: Inside Scoop


Customer Service 101

Wise Words From A Child

We were away this past weekend. Son No. 1 was asked to skate in the Ontario Cup speed skating meet in Belleville which is a whole other post in itself.  After two long days away we hit the edge of Toronto at 4:45 p.m. and needed to figure out what to do for dinner.  We decided to order in pizza since our cupboards at home would have put Old Mother Hubbard to shame. As we got a bit closer to home I called the pizza place we typically order from.  The call was made at 5:40 and we were told it would be there in 45 minutes.  Perfectamundo.

We get home, unpack our suitcase and 6:30 comes and goes. At 6:40 I call again. "Hi, I ordered a pizza an hour ago and it's still not here. Do you know when it's going to be delivered?"

The man on the phone tells me to hold on, he comes back and says it will be there in ten minutes.

At this point my kids are tired and hungry. We're all tired and hungry.

Ten minutes pass, then twenty. Finally the pizza comes.

My husband pays for it, we open the box and for some reason the pizza we ordered is doused in hot sauce which is NOT ON THE LIST of topping ingredients people! But at this point we're so hungry we just kind of say screw it and sit down to eat it anyway.

Which is when Son No. 2 said to me "You know what makes me really mad?"

"What?" I replied.

"They never even said they were sorry."

And he's right.

When I phoned to ask when our pizza would be delivered and when the delivery person finally brought it to our door an hour and 25 minutes after it was ordered, nobody bothered to even acknowledge the pizza was late. I'm not even talking about a discount or getting something for free, just the acknowledgement that the pizza was late, they recognized it and are sorry.

It's a simple thing, really. Because the truth is any customer service based business is run by people and people are fallible. Maybe someone at the restaurant was having a bad day, or maybe they were training a new cook, maybe someone called in sick and they were short staffed.  I totally get it—god only knows I had my share of bad days when I worked as a waitress and in retail.  Mistakes happen, it's inevitable.  But a simple "We're sorry" goes a long way.  While it wouldn't turn back time and get us our pizza any quicker, an apology acknowledges that a mistake was made and that you, as a business, care. 

It makes me wonder why my youngest son knows this the staff at this restaurant doesn't.

It's a shame really...because next week I'll be ordering from their competitor.