I have worked in the Customer Service industry intermittently since I was 18 and have dealt with some of the nastiest customers imaginable. People spend so much time complaining about minor details that they forget to enjoy the experience they came for. Of course, some of this complaining is done to score a discount or even a free meal. This may seem harmless to the complainer, but it can negatively affect an employee’s livelihood. So you insisted on “talking to a manager”? Well, now that hardworking employee is losing a good shift and being disciplined. Do strangers get to walk in and critique you at your work? Happy? Good, now go enjoy your free appetizer… 😉
The point of my rant is to consider spending more time complimenting someone for good service instead of ridiculing them.
Mind you, I’m not saying you should smile and eat a well done burger when you ordered it medium rare and tip 20% when your server never supplied you with refills, was glued to their cellphone, and had an attitude. Everyone deserves what they pay for.
What about the server who kept your drink full at all times, brought you extra ranch, checked in on you multiple times, kept all dirty dishes cleared and overall had a positive attitude — why not acknowledge good service too?
So, when I am feeling grouchy I pour myself a big cup of coffee and pull out a stack of receipts from good customer service experiences and write kind letters of acknowledgment on behalf of those people who are out there doing a good job.
On a receipt you can usually find the details necessary to write a successful customer compliment.
- Date of service, name of employee, time of visit, check #
Here are some responses I have gotten back that in turn, brightened my day!
Amongst my years bartending I have had compliments relayed to my employer and reaped the benefits, but even more so I was flattered that someone went out of their way to compliment me. To know that I brightened someone else’s day brings me joy.
We all play a role in this world and although a restaurant job can seem miniscule, if we all put 100% into every task the world could be a less complaint-filled place.
The next time you think about complaining about slow service, take a look around at what’s really happening. Does the waiter have a full section? Are they having a rough day? Could you handle it if you were in their shoes?
More importantly, the next time you get good service, consider acknowledging a job well done. Maybe it was a cheerful grocery store bag boy, perhaps a polite security guard, or perhaps it was me. Regardless, we would love to know our hard work is being recognized.