Recently, l had an interesting experience with an organization and their “customer policy”. This company had made the decision to publicly post all the rules and regulations on how its valued customers were to conduct business with it. It actually went past the normal language of most legal agreements and spelled out the do’s and don’ts of how we should interact with each other. Maybe they had some issues in the past and wanted to make their “customer policy” clear. Or, maybe they wanted to limit their risks, by spelling out in detail how we would interact with each other. This “policy” did not make me feel welcomed and valued. Actually, it made me wonder why they needed so many rules to do business with them.
Certainly, organizations should have policies on how they are to engage their customers, but that should be a “back stage” item. Employees at every level should be trained and well-rehearsed in how they should work with customers and clients. Our customers should leave each encounter feeling that the company would do anything possible to provide the best service possible. This is true if you’re a law firm, a consulting firm, or a family restaurant.
Last month, my family tried a new restaurant near our home in Frisco, Texas. It is called “Kenny’s Burger Joint”. The food was great and the prices reasonable. They had just opened that week and were working out all the kinks, but even though they made a mistake on my wife’s burger, they were quick to correct the problem using guest recovery procedures that I would expect of more mature establishments. What really impressed me was the following “customer policy” they printed in their menu. With their permission, here is the policy toward dealing with their customers:
“Welcome to Kenny’s Burger Joint. Do you remember a time when there were restaurants without the “BS” split charges, 18% gratuity added or ridiculous statements like ‘I’m sorry that’s our policy?” Welcome to Kenny’s Burger Joint. Reminiscent of the ways things used to be, a place where we make it our policy to have no policy! Thank you very much for coming, we really do appreciate your support. If there is absolutely anything we can do to make your experience more enjoyable, please let us know. Either Bob, Jennifer, or I are here almost every day and would love to meet you and welcome you to Kenny’s family.”
Of course they have policies by which they have trained their staff, but they were transparent to us. This is how it should be. I left there feeling that I was truly an important customer. Whenever we have a craving for a burger, it will be Kenny’s Burger Joint for my family!