One of my duties at work is to answer the "comments" section of the website. People write in from around the world asking questions-- most commonly "Do the biscuits really fly?"...ha, ha, ha. That's always hysterical (typed with the most sarcastic tone you can imagine!). I get a lot of requests for recipes, people trying to get in touch with former employees, questions about the ingredients and nutritional breakdown of certain menu items. And customer complaints. I always dread having to answer a complaint. I have to word my responses so carefully in an effort to validate the complaint, acknowledge the problem and encourage the disgruntled guest to give us another try. It's not always easy; especially when I feel that they are complaining about something beyond my control. How do you respond to someone that got a parking ticket because they were parked on a yellow curb a block away from the restaurant? Especially when they are so irate that they threaten to never to return to our restaurant. This is my life-- welcome to it! I would say that I have about a 90% rate of success, though. If I respond to them quickly enough and I mail them a gift card, most of them will return and some even reply to my email thanking me and apologizing for venting.
Anyway-- that was a long introduction to what I really wanted to get to--- funny customer comments! I've had a couple of doozies in the past week!
Last week I received an email from our website. The basic form asks the user to fill in their name, address, phone #, email address and then there is a comments section where they can write as much as they'd like. Well, it was about 8:30am last Thursday and I happened to be at my desk for a change. A comment form came through and I noticed that in the address section it said "The Table Near the Front Door". I was intrigued. In the comments section, it said "I would like a refill of coffee". I went to the dining room and sure enough, at the table next to the door was a man sitting alone- with a laptop. I grabbed a coffee pot and ran to his table and gave him the refill that he had requested via email less than a minute ago. I mentioned that I had gotten his request via email and he was totally thrilled and amazed. We had a good laugh and I told him that this technique would never work in our other locations, and might not ever work again at this location- I just happened to be logged on when he sent his request. He said he had just thought it would be fun to request it and didn't really expect to get it!
Today I got an email from a customer in Tennessee. He wanted to know if we sold gift cards. Then he went on to explain why he needed to know. It seems that he has a daughter attending Emory and she loves the Biscuit. He explained "Thing is if I give her cash then it will probably go to tampons or something. She needs to eat, and get off campus. Don't get me wrong, I give her cash for toiletries but this would be encouragement to break away for just a while. Thank you.". OMG! I can just imagine what's going through this father's head every time he sends his daughter cash-- "she's just going to waste this money on tampons, I know it! Every time I give her cash, she runs straight to the store and buys another box of tampons." I can just imagine this poor girl-- she attends classes all day, never leaves campus, hardly ever eats-- and saves her pennies up for a box of Tampax! She probably hoards them in her dorm room! I've been laughing about this one all day long!