Eleven years ago, at an unnamed restaurant named for some guy named Benny or Lenny or Kenny - something like that, I had a very disappointing experience.
Know this: I am a D****'s fan and this group I was with had been going to that same spot at the same time for eight years. We knew the people - most of them - at least until recently.
Recently, they got a new manager and the first order of business was to require our favorite waitress to stop wearing her signature flower in her hair. How do you spell "rinky-dink?"
This woman is one of the reasons we keep going. She was D's for us and that flower was her identity. It was her smile. It was her way of describing her sunny outlook on life. That was disappointing.
Then, we were served by a very sweet, enthusiastic waitress last night who bounced in once or twice and had to receive some very distressing news of our unhappiness with one issue: we only received half of a milkshake!
Apparently, this was the training that the new, "progressive" management had initiated - no individual expression, standardization of everything, and half a milkshake for the same price as the old product where we received "seconds" in the metal container.
I am not a complainer and I left the sweet girl (who didn't refill the all-you-can-drink drinks or bring us our bill) a nice tip. It was not her fault. It may not even be this manager's fault. It may have been no one's fault - but it does make a pretty good subject for a blog on how not to succeed in business over the long haul.
We went back - a time or two, to give it a fair shake (and hopefully I can get a fair shake).
However, I could not promise anything indefinite. There are too many places that bend over backwards to make the customer feel happy and part of the community (How to you spell STARBUCKS?).
Here is the question: Are you in whatever you are in for the long haul? If so, you are interested in happy people who keep coming back ... and in residual income.
Whether you represent a church, a network marketing system, a brick and mortar business, or some other endeavor, the secret to customer satisfaction is first, giving your customer a fair shake and then, going well beyond that to the point of surprise and delight.