This past Saturday was an exceptional beautiful and the temperature was “just right”! Yep, just right for being with my hubby as we tended to early morning errands around town.
When we finished our last stop, it was close to lunch and we both decided (it was my idea) to stop and get a bite to eat before returning home. Have you ever had an urge for a particular type of food, i.e. pasta, sushi, etc.? I had an urge for Mexican food!
We entered the restaurant and we were seated quickly in a booth with not only an outside view but an opportunity to enjoy that warm sunshine! My taste buds were ebbing and flowing as I gazed at the menu and settled on something between healthy and Mexican. A chicken tostada salad.
The waiter placed my husband’s nachos down in front of him first and then, my plate in front of me. As soon as the plate came within my energy, I sensed something off. Wasn’t sure what it was yet I was very aware!
My husband dug into his nachos and then shared a bite. It was scrumptious! Grilled jalapeños with mushrooms along with chunks of chicken that were marinated in a tasty red sauce. The flavors were perfectly balanced and the aroma lingered in my senses long after I swallowed.
Then the Big Bang happened. I tasted my salad. Nothing. No taste, was that possible? I took another bite, this time I dug down to the shredded chicken. Again, nothing, nada! What the heck! I added some salsa to see if that would help. Dug in again and NOTHING!
I don’t know if it is my age, nationality or the fact that if you are paying for a service, product, whatever and you do not feel that it is an even exchange of value, ie energy, then I think we should express ourselves. I teach Customer Service in my business workshops, I teach how to connect with people when communicating. If I can’t follow my own teaching, then I figure I’m a hypocrite. I pushed the plate to the end of the table closest to the walkway. My husband commented, “you aren’t going to eat that?” “Nope!”, I replied. “Killed my Mexican buzz!”
I remembered just recently watching a rerun of the Big Bang Theory (I love this show!) where Raj takes Lucy out to dinner. Lucy has a problem expressing herself. Raj asks her how she likes her crab cakes and she honestly tells him that they aren’t very good. Raj, in an effort to help her express herself better, calls the waiter over so she can finally have the opportunity to express how she really feels. The waiter arrives and she is so uncomfortable, tells the waiter everything is fine and rushes off to the restroom to climb out the window!
How many times are you asked how do you feel, how is your day or is every alright and how many times to you deny how you really feel? I know I used to do this a lot! Where is your voice? Now, I am not a proponent of “the customer is always right” yet we can improve the way we deliver goods and services from the feedback we get from customers. I would rather my clients tell me to my face then tell it on Yelp, Facebook or some other viral media.
Unhappy customers talk about their experience to their friends and relatives. These experiences gain a lot of attention and can damage a reputation of a business. How did I know that the cook just forgot to add the Mexican dressing to my salad? A simple fix that would have assisted the cook in being more attentive. (I hope!)
No one came to check on our table until my husband finished eating and pushed his plate to the side. The waitress came over and handed him our bill and asked, “How was everything?” My hubby replied, “mine was good!” “And you, senorita, you not hungry”, as she stared at my full plate. “Something wrong?” – I replied, “No, I didn’t like it, it didn’t taste like anything.” There was a long pause, I felt an uncomfortable energy permeating between the space between myself and the waitress. And then her reply, “I’m sorry, you want a box?”
Customer Service Rule #1 – Listen to what the customer says. Everything they say has meaning. Do not listen with the intent to reply, listen with the intent to understand.
Why in the hell would I want to take something home, I didn’t like? I said, “No, I don’t want it, it didn’t taste right” I replied. My husband asks, “you are not going to take that home?” “No!”, I said, “it doesn’t taste right.” “Ok, he says I’ll eat it!” (That is another story!) The waitress replies, “Ok, I get you a box!”
At this point, I’m not running for the bathroom window, yet my “potty” mouth was giving my husband a few choice nuggets for introspection! When the waitress comes back to the table with a box, the energy was crazy wild!!! She slapped the food in the carton and then asked me if I lived here locally. I replied, “yes!” After she left, my husband said, why did she ask me that? I replied simply, Yelp, Facebook, Twitter, etc. etc.
Now, I have to admit, I was forming the review in my mind all the way home in between giving my husband the stink eye and saying, “Oh, I’m sorry!” After I composed myself, and realized that vibrating at that energy was not going to solve the problem, my hubby glanced over and in a matter-of-fact tone said, “I’m sorry!” I broke out in laughter and the laughter raised the energy in the car and it continued all afternoon and well into the evening with our conversations ending in, “Oh, I’m sorry!”
Moral of the story – It was the first step for me! To create better boundaries with the food that I eat, with the restaurants that I choose to exchange money and energy with. I value who I am, what I put in my body and the people that I call friends. I need to extend those value boundaries to where I do business.
When I use this example in my workshops I will share the appropriate response when a customer responds like I did. “What about the salad was not right?” “May I get you something else?” “What can I do to make it better?” Yep, saying “I’m sorry” doesn’t erase the problem. What if I had complained on those other viral sites? What if?
Don’t crawl out of the window of your boundaries, whether it is in your personal or professional relationships or at a mexican restaurant! Approach it with energy that is clear, firm and leaves an opening for compromise! The energy that you create together will theoretically create a Big Bang of higher vibration! Adios!