Memorable Service = Referrals

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DinnerBeing in El Paso, I have no shortage of great Mexican food restaurants to choose from.   So why do I go to one particular restaurant more often than another?  Simple:  Their service is 10 times better than the others.

There are two Mexican restaurants near my office.  The closest one has good food.  But the service is slow!  The wait staff is friendly and we know most of them.  But it takes them some time to seat you.  Once you are seated, it can take a while for them to take your drink order and even more time to take your food order.  This is particularly annoying when you can see staff and the managers just hanging around doing little or nothing.  A quick lunch can often turn into an hour and a half long frustrating experience.  If I have limited time, I just avoid this place.

The second restaurant is five minutes further out.  It is busy, so you may have to wait.  But once you are seated you are quickly greeted by the wait staff.  Your drinks come out quickly and the food is amazingly fast.  Though you have one main server, any of the staff will help you if you need something.  The management at this restaurant is constantly involved in serving the customer and ensuring that they are happy.  The kitchen is organized in such a way that good, quality food is delivered almost at fast food speed.  And the food is excellent!  Even with a wait, I always am out in less than an hour.

The food at both restaurants is good (though I have a bias toward the second restaurant), so why do I always refer people to the second one?  Simple—their excellent service!

Their excellent service is not an accident.  Management has chosen to focus on achieving great service and great food.  They have had rapid growth every year since they opened over five years ago.  And they have managed to do this without any advertising to speak of at all.

Memorable Service—Referrals

In his book The Little Platinum Book of CHA-CHING!, Jeffrey Gitomer lists the following three possible outcomes that a customer might receive when they are served by a business:

  • Your customer MAY come back if the product was good and the service is acceptable (this is satisfied).
  • Your customer WILL come back if the product was great (this is loyal).
  • Your customer WILL come back AND tell others if the product was the greatest, and the service was memorable (that is the definition of loyal, testimonial, and referral).

Do you know how your staff is treating your customers?  More importantly, do you know what your customers are saying about you?