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Great Customer Service Story: Greco Pizza

Published December 24, 2012 - 1 Comment

I don’t want anyone to think that I only post the bad customer service stories.  I’m an equal opportunity customer service blogger!  🙂

So here’s the back story… Greco Pizza has a points system by which every item you purchase gives you a certain number of points that you can then exchange for free food… starting at a donair, and working up to a party pizza, depending on the amount of points.  They’ve had this system in place for as long as I can remember, and over the years I’ve probably cashed in my points 2 or 3 times.

A month ago Jess and I stopped in for donairs, and when I asked the lady how many points I now had, she informed me that I had none.  Not only did I not have any points, there was no account listed under my name or phone number.  What?

No sense in freaking out over it.  I decided to send an email to the customer contact address on Greco.ca.  Within an hour I had a response asking me for more information, which I provided.  It took about a week, when I received another email… this time from the manager of the local Greco store, asking me to call.  Cindy was wonderful.. when she asked me how many points I had, I honestly couldn’t tell her.  All I knew is that I had more than the oven sub, but fewer than the party pizza.  She offered me a 15″ pizza and put it in her book for the next time I ordered.  Simple as that.  They were unable to determine what happened to my original account, but found a resolution to my problem.

And here’s the important part…

It’s more than just a free pizza.  Actually you could argue that I’d already paid for that pizza anyway because I had accumulated almost enough points on my own… the manager was simply giving me what was already due to me.  And that’s great, because I wasn’t looking for anything other than to recover my lost points.  But more than the pizza.. it was the entire customer experience…  No one ever questioned me, or made me feel like I might be trying to scam them.  Must be that trusting face again!  (Except that this was all through email / telephone.)  They dealt with my problem professionally… and in doing so secured my loyalty.  There are a lot of pizza places out there… but I already know where I’m ordering from.

Great job, Greco Pizza!

Follow-up From Swiss Chalet Fiasco

Published January 31, 2011 - 2 Comments

I was pleasantly surprised to receive a call from the owner of the local Swiss Chalet restaurant today, regarding the feedback that I left yesterday.  The gentleman was extremely down to earth, and apologized for the incident.  He also informed me that the employee involved had been disciplined because of his actions.  That was never my intention.  I hoped that the matter would be addressed, but I wasn’t trying to get anyone in trouble.  Still, it is what it is, and hopefully the message gets through to the employee.

And the question everyone seems to ask… no, the owner did not offer me anything as compensation.  That was never my intent, either.  Yes, it would have been icing on the cake, but all I really wanted was for the someone to take responsibility and deal with the issue, and as far as I’m concerned that is what happened.

I’m satisfied with the outcome.

Worst Customer Service Ever! Swiss Chalet

Published January 31, 2011 - 16 Comments

If you know me at all, you know that I don’t generally bitch and complain about customer service.  It usually takes a lot to piss me off, and even when that does happen, I just shut my mouth and carry on.  And eventually sit down at my computer and blog about it!

Today I went to one of my favourite family restaurants, Swiss Chalet.  I brought a friend with me who isn’t typically a fan of the place, but I convinced her that it wasn’t nearly as bad as she imagined it was.

Boy, was I wrong.

I’ve never had such poor customer service in my life.  I’m not just saying that.  It’s true.  Our server, Dale (hey, I call ’em as I see ’em), was completely uninterested in us, rude, and unprofessional.  I don’t exactly have a real high bar when it comes to what I consider to be “good” customer service.  If the server is friendly, checks back to see how things are, fills my water, and wishes me a good day… that’s pretty much standard for good service.  Of course, I’ve had EXCELLENT service which goes above and beyond that, but I’m satisfied with good service.  What we received today (well, technically yesterday, as it is now after midnight) could only be classified as poor service.  I was not happy.  Not happy at all.  I considered speaking to a manager at the end of the meal, but my tendency to bite my tongue prevailed.

So I filled out their customer satisfaction survey instead.

First, please understand… I am not someone who complains about poor service on a whim.  I have never filled out a customer survey form negatively before this, but my experience today was so poor, I feel that I must address it with someone.

I have never received such poor service anywhere.  Generally I love going to Swiss Chalet.  The food is very good, and I feel that I get great value for what I pay.  Today I brought along a friend of mine who generally does not like Swiss Chalet as much as I do, and by the time we walked out of the restaurant I was embarrassed for having brought her there.

Our server was curt, unprofessional, and rude.  He made no attempt to act friendly toward us.  He did not check with us once to see how things were.  He barely paid attention to us.  He somehow managed to set one of the finger bowls down on the table too hard, causing the water to splash over the table, and my friend and I. Worse, he didn’t realize that he did it, because he wasn’t even looking at us when he set the bowl down.  When we asked for something to clean the table with, he told us “Oh well, it’s only water”.  There was no apology.

My friend was not satisfied with her salad, and asked for it to be returned.  When he brought another one, he did not give her a fork, and simply walked away.  He did not come back to the table to ask how we were doing.  I eventually got up and took a fork from an empty table.

When I paid for the meal with debit, he handed me my slip, and turned and walked away.  He did not thank us.  He did not wish us a good day.  He did nothing.  My friend and I felt as though we were an inconvenience to him.  I was so embarrassed for taking my friend there, and know that I will never be able to get her to come back to that location with me.  I question whether or not I plan on going back.  Certainly I will NEVER allow myself to be served by that individual again.

As a last note, I have always enjoyed bringing my small children to Swiss Chalet.  I am so glad that they were not with me this time, because I would hate for them to have witnessed that kind of rude behaviour, and think that was acceptable in any environment.

I am quite dissatisfied, and have been discussing this with friends through Twitter and my blog www.whataboutstephen.com.  I want everyone to know that the restaurant is generally an excellent place to eat… but after today’s unfortunate experience, I suggest people think twice about going there.

Stephen Belyea