Hello SOTGC community,
What do olives, plastic, and dust have to do with business accountability? Read on my friends.
My husband and I were out celebrating our anniversary two weeks ago at a great waterfront restaurant, enjoying some wine, and eagerly awaiting our appetizers.
I ordered a plate of warm olives, and they were delicious. After polishing off one side of the cast iron dish that they were served in, I noticed a big piece of plastic; it was actually part of a lid of a plastic food storage dish … just call me Lady Sherlock.
Anyhow, once I brought this to the attention of our server, he was immediately apologetic, and said he would remove them from our bill. This is the sign of not only a good server, but also a good establishment. I’ve had mishaps of this sort happen in restaurants before – sometimes that level of service was even exceeded with the offering of a drink or dessert on the house.
And now for the dust ….
I recently hired a cleaning service for my mother. I chose this particular company because they used “green” methods, the owner was a cancer survivor and I liked her story, and they had won some awards for best cleaning service in the local area (read on to see why I find this shocking).
They sent two women out for the first visit, and they were contracted to work for four hours. They came to say they were finished with 20 minutes to spare, and when I mentioned the time (if I am paying for four hours, I expect to get four hours, especially at their lofty rates), they remarked that they could dust some of the baseboards with the remaining time.
After they left, I noticed that a few of the tables had not been dusted at all, and those that did were poorly done … rather than moving the magazines and books, they merely dusted around them, and it was rather sloppy.
The owner had called to schedule a subsequent visit, and I mentioned that the dusting had not been taken care of, despite the list of completed tasks that was provided to me when they left.
Rather than apologizing, the owner suggested that perhaps four hours would not be enough time to get everything done (interesting, considering they were ready to pack it in early). Forget offering to fix the problem (the website clearly states that if you are not 100 percent satisfied, they will come back); this woman did not take responsibility for a job that was not well done.
I am sure it comes as no surprise that they were not invited back.
While the restaurant owned their mistake, the cleaning service almost suggested that it was our fault for not booking enough time for a satisfactory job. As a result, we will return to that restaurant, and we have since found a much better cleaning service (and for one-third of the price I might add!).
If you are a business owner, or even an employee, I hope you handle any mishaps like the restaurant did – immediately, apologetically, and with a smile. Accountability is a sign of well-run organization, and one that will retain the loyalty of its customers.
If you know any businesses that would earn a gold star for accountability, I’d love to hear about them, so let me (and the other readers) know in the comments below. Or you can tweet me too. Let’s celebrate the businesses that get it right!!