Using Technology, Customer Service for a Save
Recently , I had planned to go out to dinner with my family and wanted to try a new restaurant. My father was visiting from out of town, so I could not ask him for advice. So, I did the next best thing. I used technology to help find a new restaurant. I went to a site called Yelp!, which lists user comments for many things as a way to recommend or trash consumer brands. (You can also try a popular travel site called TripAdvisor for other travel related reviews).
Yep. That’s right. When I asked him about his menu and a website I could check out to make sure it met our group’s dietary restrictions, he abruptly ended the conversation.
I certainly was not headed there for dinner. I did the only thing I could. I went to Yelp, which I did not use very often until last week, and told future visitors, exactly what happened. I even suggested they go elsewhere based on my experience. Now I love to compliment people for doing a good job and often ask to speak with supervisors of line item folks like telephone customer service people.
Good people deserve to hear feedback as it does not happen nearly enough. This however, also needed attention.
Last night, I received a note in my email in box, via Yelp, from the general manager of the restaurant. Here is what Luke wrote.
My name is Luke, and I am the GM at xxxxxx ( I blocked out the name as it is not important). I am writing on behalf of the Owner, Keith, who is the least tech savvy person on the planet and doesn’t know how to use a computer.
As soon as Keith hung up the phone with you, he knew he screwed up. It was peak time hour at the restaurant, and he had a lot of his plate, but there is NO excuse for him not being patient with you and addressing your concerns. Keith wanted to call you back and apologize, but we don’t have caller ID! When we saw your review on Yelp, we were pleased that we would have a method of getting in touch with you.
We are in no way asking you to take down your review of us, or change it in any way. What happened happened, and like I said there is no excuse for the way Keith treated you. However, if you will allow us, we’d like to mail you a gift certificate so you can come have dinner on the house, and be given the respect and care you should have been shown the first time around. If you decide to accept our offer, please send me an e-mail (address below) with your physical address, and I will be happy to mail you a gift certificate and a menu so you can look into the dietary needs you mentioned in your Yelp review.
Again, please accept our apologies for the way Keith treated you on the phone. We look forward for the opportunity to make it right, and hope to hear back from you soon.
The reason why this GM could find me is that the review on the site is linked to an email that was sent to me. The restaurant could not do it directly but using Yelp as a conduit, it could reach out and try and save the customer.
Not willing to hold a grudge, I sent Luke my address and will be willing to try the restaurant again with the family on another day.
The restaurant potentially gets a save.
As the consumer, I made sure my voice was heard and they responded and did the right thing.
Do you use tools like Yelp to make sure you are listening to people speaking about your brand? If not, you need to invest in resources like this to protect your business.
As a potential resource for this story, I went to the Yelp YouTube channel to view and link a “Hot To” video, but could not find one from the company. Here is a YouTube user generated video for your viewing pleasure