Do You Ass-u-me Too Much?

Better Customer Experiences by Not AssumingRecently I had a very poor customer service experience at a favorite local restaurant. In a nutshell…

We received a special offer in the mail for a restaurant where we are frequent diners. Upon arrival the four of us were seated by a new waitress. We presented her with the offer. Her mood seemed to change from the minute the heavy, ink rich card hit her hand.

At this particular restaurant, we like to try new wines by taking advantage of their wine samples special. Then if we like the wine we’ll purchase a glass or two. It’s a great deal and it’s fun to try something new. This time however, our waitress quizzed us down on whether or not we’d be ordering a bottle or glass with the .50 cent sample (note there are no strings attached to the samples offer). “We’d like to try it first,” was my only reply. We ordered two samples. She was clearly irritated.

To make this long story short, the dinner was excellent, but the service terrible. All of it. After numerous attempts, our waitress decided she wasn’t interested in getting the wine samples. They finally appeared when I was literally on my last bite of the meal – so much for ordering a glass with dinner! And that dessert we had thought about on arrival? No way. We got the wrong check the first time, a check without the offer the second and finally the right check on the third try.

Normally we would tip based on the full amount, not the discounted amount of the meal, but it’s hard to reward poor service and a poor attitude. All of this because the waitress ASSUMED she knew how we would spend or how we would tip.

What do you assume that prevents you from a better customer experience or more sales? Do you assume that the customer who comes in dressed to the nines is going to purchase more? Or that the online customer who doesn’t make it all the way through your online checkout didn’t/won’t purchase? What about that customer who has been on your email list forever, should automatically give up on them? Until we can read minds, it’s better to ask your customers (in person, through a survey, on a comment card), run A/B tests or follow-up on their experience, to find out what is really happening. It may seem like a lot of work, but if it provides you with loyal, paying customers who actively tell others how great you are, your time and money have been well spent!

You know what they say when we assume… it makes an a.s.s. out of u and m.e.

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About Karin Khuhro

Karin Khuhro is a Digital Marketing Strategist, Speaker and Copywriter. As the owner of Strategy E-ssentials she works with other savvy marketers, digital specialists and business leaders to bring knowledge, know-how and solutions to small and medium sized businesses. Connect with Karin on Google+ or Linkedin.