Well, December has arrived with the usual flurry of bad weather, extra traffic, bad music on your favourite radio station and people doing a count down to the ‘big day’ every morning in your office.
Here in Craigmore we love the whole Christmas thing, we get the Christmas tree up (same one as last year), we get some Christmas music on and we look forward to a few days off. I love the excitement and build up and even though my three children are now young adults (18, 20, 21), Joy still loves to have lots of wrapped gifts under the tree and a few surprise treats no one was expecting.
This week I had an appointment in Belfast with Joy and I reluctantly agreed to do some Christmas shopping in the city centre. Our appointment was over at four o’clock and we headed for Victoria Square Shopping Centre. You can not imagine my delight when we discovered there was no late night shopping, the stores shut at six o’clock, Joy was gutted but I was ecstatic. After a quick dash to Jack Wills, Hotel Chocolat and All Saints we settled in Pizza Express for dinner and a chat.
It was while we chatted in Pizza Express that I once again was struck by the importance of good customer service. Our server was great, polite and courteous, attentive and knowledgeable about the menu, well done. However, at the table to my left was a family of two adults and one young child. They were shown to the table and given a menu, then five minutes… and fifteen minutes… and almost 20 minutes had passed and no one has returned to speak to them. The restaurant was not busy, there were plenty of staff but no one came back. I am not a patient person and the little family were saints in my mind, but I could take it no more… I called a passing server and explained the situation and asked them to please act. I am pleased to say they did, and the hungry family were duly saved from starvation in a Belfast restaurant.
Serving customers well has always been a pillar of Craigmore, we do all we can to understand customer’s needs and expectations, we go the entire mile to ensure best value and best service in our industry.
Of course we don’t claim to always get it right, but when it goes wrong we move swiftly to make it right at Craigmore. Customer feedback is vitally important and we value it and respond to the good and the bad.
I like to give praise and thanks when appropriate and I believe in speaking out when the service is below standard, and I would encourage others to do the same. In a world of caution and political correctness I feel we are too frightened to say something was good or bad, we need to get past this and be prepared to speak up when needed.
I fear my escape from the Christmas shop may be short-lived and I will once more be thrust into the scrum of people desperate to spend their hard earned cash in pursuit of that perfect gift. So as we all embark on this perilous adventure in the next few weeks I encourage you to say “thanks and well done” when you are well served and “no thanks and please try harder” when you are not well served.
“Customers may forget what you said but they’ll never forget how you made them feel. ” Anonymous