The phone rang and the caller immediately barked, “I’m not getting out of the car, it’s raining… you come outside”. These were the words of a delivery driver from a popular takeaway in Cork City. My partner Lisa replied, “I am on my own with a newborn baby that I can’t take outside. Could you please bring the takeaway to the front window of the apartment block, it’s the ground floor?”. The driver, who was driving a taxi hung up the phone and walked all of twenty metres to the window. My partner greeted him with an apology for not coming outside and handed the driver a generous tip. The driver skipped thanking her and asked, “Is the little baby having the chicken curry?”. “That’s for my partner, who is not here at the moment”, Lisa replied to the driver who was already half way to his car.
Several months later we ordered from the same takeaway. A taxi delivered the food. This time it was a different driver, but he was equally as memorable. I went out to meet him in his car and handed him a sizeable tip. The driver was engaged in a personal call and didn’t acknowledge me or the tip. I remember thinking that this was rude, but I put it out of my mind. An hour later, Lisa’s phone rang. “You never paid me for the takeaway”, a loud voice barked. Lisa was visibly upset at the accusing tone. She told the driver to check with the staff as she had paid by card and we given him a tip. What followed was short muffled conversation in the background between the driver and a member of staff. “Ya you paid, bye”, the driver replied and hung up.
Lisa was very upset by this and called the restaurant back. She spoke to a member of staff and politely told them about the two incidents with the taxi drivers. She also mentioned how polite the staff were on the phone and how happy she was with the quality of the food, but we would not be ordering again because of the two bad experiences. The staff member apologised and told Lisa she would get a member of staff to call us the next day. That never happened.
Increasingly businesses are referred to as brands. A brand is a product or service that is recognisable though a name and identify imagery. In turn employees or associates of a brand are known as brand ambassadors. A brand ambassador is often a person who deals with a client directly. They are a face to an organisation and in turn their behaviour reflects on their employer. In this case a restaurant with a reputation for delicious food and pleasant staff had lost a customer due to sub-contracting their deliveries to a taxi company with no respect for the restaurant or it’s clients.
Have you ever been on the wrong end of bad customer service or employed someone that has reflected your business in a negative manner?