Moment of truth!

Definition: “In customer service, instance of contact or interaction between a customer and a firm (through a product, sales force or visit) that gives the customer an opportunity to form or change an impression about the firm”. By businessdictionary

My sister and I had a nice meal at Gasthof Rodertor Restaurant – a local restaurant in Rotherburg, Germany yesterday. We were hungry and previously 3 restaurants we visited refused to serve lunch at this time (1pm). We walked in Gasthof Rodertor Restaurant with a hope that it is open. And it was! The setting was very nice and cozy (quite important in the chilling weather). We ordered two dishes and were surprised by how delicious the foods were. The waitress was very nice by constantly checking on us to see if we liked the meals. Overall it was an outstanding experience; we left and already started thinking about coming back.

And I came back today to ruin my experience. It was a different waitress. She didn’t wear uniform (like others). Her hair was messy and she didn’t smile. I ordered roasted pork which she said: “finished, no more”, no smile! I changed to another dish only to find out that they still served roasted pork. I was enjoying my meal and reading a book as I ate since I got caught up with this book – The Startup Of You – she constantly gave me the strict daddy look which says: “put your damn book down and finish your meal”. When I finished my meal, she discourteously put the bills on the table as she brought foods to other table. I wanted to stay longer to read the book and wait for my lunch to settle in but I got irritated by how she was treating me so I put down my credit card (I paid by card yesterday). She walked by again and said as she walked by my table: “cash…”. To my surprise, she repeated: “cash!” Still no smile!

This is not the first time I have this kind of experience. You discover a new restaurant, you like the place and in your next visits you have your “moment of truth”. More often than not the person ruining your experience is the one not wearing uniform, acting arrogant and ignorant.

How did the restaurant win me over the first time? It was the room setting, the excellent foods and the smiling waitress. Looks like the foods and the decoration play the determining role.

How did they ruin my impression? The waitress!

I feel like creating a good experience for customers is not the difficult part. The difficult part is being consistent in the service. When I walked into their door today, I did not expect the food to be better, I didn’t expect the room to be prettier nor did I expect the waitress to smile more. I expect the same experience I had. Losing consistency in customer service is the fastest way to lose customers and fail your business. Yet, there are still businesses that choose not to do anything about this. Well, there are plenty of places with fine foods out there, I’ll keep going to the ones that I would have more bang for my bucks!

Some pictures of the foods and the places:

The nice setting inside the restaurant
The nice setting inside the restaurant
Chicken with spinach
Chicken with spinach
Roasted pork
Roasted pork

Photos taken by Onnida Aditapsatit 


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