How customer complaints good for business

A great story from Oliver on his experience of how restaurant Sticky Fingers responded to a bad experience he had with them. He blogged about his complaints, which prompted a response from the local supervisor.


Rather than just offer a discount, or nothing at all, they delivered him a meal for 10 people. His learning on what they did well to fix the problem was:

"1. They didn’t blow it off.
2. They didn’t make excuses.
3. They immediately offered to make it right.
4. They didn’t just settle for a token gesture.  They REALLY offered to make it up to me.
5. They so completely over delivered.   The lunch they brought over was a feast.  Everyone was impressed.
Rather than give me money back and send me on my way, they opted
instead to fight tooth and nail to earn back my trust and my business.
By offering to cater an abundance of food, they invited at least a
dozen people to the table… and that’s nothing short of brilliant. Why
spend so much time and effort turning one

guy into a happy customer again… when they could use this event to
turn ten or twenty people into excited, happy customers as well?"

This a great example of that old truth about a service business: a customer complaint is a golden opportunity to create an even more loyal consumer.

Shame the manager of the restaurant I went to last week in Montego Bay didn’t follow the same approach. when I complained that our evening in this so-called "fine dining" establishment had been spoilt by a party of 30 loud, tequila-slamming, flour throwing, loud mouthed louts the response was…"We’ll offer you and your wife an after dinner drink free of charge"!