While visiting Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaii we were told about a small restaurant that was a great place for dinner. Upon arrival we found that we had to wait about 20 minutes to be seated. Since Hilo is only about 40,000 people, we were surprised that so many people were there.
Once we were seated and began enjoying the dinner experience, we understood why people keep coming back. The customer service was special and the food was excellent. It was so good we went back the next night and asked for the same waitress.
What did the customer service look like? The waitress who was dressed attractively was always smiling and seemed relaxed even though she didn’t have a second of downtime. She went from table to table engaging the customers in conversation; we felt she cared about us.
When my food arrived it included bread pudding with jalapeño peppers. The menu didn’t mention the peppers. When the waitress asked if everything was okay, I told her about the pudding. She immediately responded with a smile, “You shouldn’t have to eat something you don’t like. Let me re-plate it with whipped potatoes.” In two minutes the switch was made.
As the evening progressed, she always came by with a smile and engaging comments. She didn’t just ask about the food and walk away. We felt relaxed and appreciated because of her demeanor. The next night when we returned, she was delighted to see us. We received the same great service.
She took such pride in the restaurant and the excellent cuisine and that they bought their ingredients locally, I thought she owned the restaurant. She said she didn’t but that the owner, Kim, was quite nice.
This week USA Today Snapshot survey was, “How consumers say companies feel about them.” Twenty-four percent said that companies value them and go the extra mile. Forty- eight percent said companies are helpful, but don’t go the extra mile. Twenty-two percent feel companies take consumers for granted. Five percent believe companies don’t care about the consumer. Three percent are not sure how companies feel about consumers.
Without a doubt, the little restaurant in Hilo is in the twenty-four percent that value their customers and go the extra mile. It’s no surprise that people keep going back.
Where have you experienced exceptional customer service?