Impact Learning Systems


Customer Experience vs. Compensation: a Customer Service Showdown Sarah Hedayati

The other night, I went to din­ner at one of my new favorite restau­rants. When I sat down, I couldn’t help but notice the table next to me was not hav­ing a pleas­ant din­ing expe­ri­ence. The two din­ers’ body lan­guage said it all. They both had their arms folded and were clearly try­ing to get the waiter’s atten­tion by star­ing and ges­tur­ing for him to come over to the table. He apol­o­gized sev­eral times for some­thing I could not deci­pher. A few min­utes later, what seemed to be a com­pli­men­tary dessert arrived.

This expe­ri­ence got me think­ing: was the dessert enough to turn the unhappy din­ers into repeat and loyal cus­tomers? Ask your­self this ques­tion: would you rather pay full price for a meal and receive good ser­vice or get a com­pli­men­tary dessert for bad service?

Although I appre­ci­ate, and some­times expect, some kind of com­pen­sa­tion for bad ser­vice, I would much rather pay for a pos­i­tive expe­ri­ence. Peo­ple don’t go to restau­rants hop­ing to get bad ser­vice so they won’t have to pay. Or at least I don’t think so.

An arti­cle from stated, “What makes a restau­rant expe­ri­ence mem­o­rable for a cus­tomer, nine times out of 10, is how they're made to feel rather than what they eat.”

So why are com­pa­nies invest­ing money in reim­burs­ing upset cus­tomers when they should be train­ing their employ­ees to pro­vide the best cus­tomer expe­ri­ence pos­si­ble? If gain­ing loyal, repeat cus­tomers is the goal, train­ing is the answer.

Cus­tomer ser­vice train­ing teaches employ­ees first and fore­most how to com­mu­ni­cate pos­i­tively and pro­fes­sion­ally with cus­tomers. Train­ing also helps employ­ees with:

  • Devel­op­ing skills to help build rap­port with customers
  • Learn­ing how to respond to cus­tomer requests
  • Ques­tion­ing and con­firm­ing cus­tomer needs
  • Han­dling angry and upset customers

Some say cus­tomer ser­vice is a dying art. John Sul­li­van, a restau­rant indus­try ana­lyst and con­sul­tant, dis­agrees. He says, “All restau­rants bet­ter pay atten­tion to ser­vice or they will lose cus­tomers almost instantly.”

We are advo­cates for pro­vid­ing cus­tomers the best expe­ri­ence pos­si­ble. Impact Learn­ing Sys­tems is the leader in cus­tomer ser­vice skills train­ing and con­sult­ing. Cus­tomer ser­vice is all about the pos­i­tive expe­ri­ence you provide.
Sarah Hedayati
View all posts by Sarah Heday­ati
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  • Aura M. Garrillo

    I had exactly the same hap­pen to me, had a ter­ri­ble ser­vice expe­ri­ence at a local sushi place. After I posted a Twit­ter com­ment about it, they offered a free din­ner so I will not write them off. But I dont even feel like going back to the place, not even for a free dinner!

  • Anony­mous

    Thanks for your com­ment, Aura! I totally agree. Why go back to a place you had a ter­ri­ble expe­ri­ence? The ter­ri­ble ser­vice the sushi restau­rant pro­vided could not be over­come by their free din­ner offer. Cus­tomer expe­ri­ence is def­i­nitely more impor­tant than compensation.

  • Glenn Friesen

    Great post

  • Sara Marke

    The win­ner this bat­tle will depend on who has the greater per­for­mance, is it the com­pen­sa­tion or experience?

  • Anony­mous

     Thanks for your com­ment, Sara! I'm curi­ous, how would com­pen­sa­tions have a greater per­for­mance? If the com­pen­sa­tions was extremely unique and impres­sive to the cus­tomer? I appre­ci­ate your perspective :)

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