Your server will ask that question about 5 minutes into your meal. “How is everything?” Sometimes they will be slightly more open and ask, “Is everything okay here?” Nice of them to check back so soon after delivery.
Once in a rare while you’ll be asked, “how’s your food tasting?” When phrased that way I am always momentarily halted by the question. It’s a strangely appealing inquiry. Suddenly, the server seems more interesting. I didn’t say interested, I said interesting. It makes you stop and think about the question and why you are being asked with those words. Then, uh, “fine,” pops into your head. You find yourself liking your server a little more than you did before the arrival of your meal.
If you’ve never been asked that question you won’t have any idea what I’m talking about. If you have, you’re thinking, “Right! They ask that way at…” And you’re also thinking, “It was strangely appealing.”
Why is that? When the server asks if “everything is okay here” they are really asking you if you want ketchup or more water. They really aren’t asking about the main reason you’re there—to eat their food.
When they ask about the taste of the food, the question at first throws you, then immediately warms you to your server. Why? Because it’s a remarkable question.
That one simple thing greatly adds to the pleasure of your experience because it seems they care about you. The server appears so interested that you immediately find that person more appealing.
Lately I’ve been writing about being remarkable. People think this means they need an incredible idea, a gimmick. Wrong. Today service is so bad that asking a restaurant customer how the food tastes is remarkable.
Think about following up with your customers by asking them a remarkable question. If you sell tires, call your customers the day after they buy new tires from you and ask, “how’s the ride on those new tires?” Or if you have a retail store, “did you enjoy shopping in our store?” rather than, “did you find everything ok”. When you ask me if I found everything you’re really asking me if I want to buy more stuff. You’re asking for you not me. I know that.
If your business is a dental practice you can call patients the day after a procedure and ask, “is your tooth okay today? Are you having any discomfort?” The patient (your customer) will be shocked that you actually care.
Wouldn’t it greatly soften the blow if your auto mechanic called you the day after a $500 repair and asked, “how’s your car running?”
Any business can do this and should. Don’t worry about “inviting” trouble. You’re diffusing trouble. The people who are not happy will call and complain, eventually, when they get really mad. Worse yet, if they were only mildly displeased, they won’t come back.
You will see results from this remarkable innovation very quickly.
Did you enjoy reading this? Was it worth your time?
Shameless Promotion: I can help make your business remarkable. We can develop a strategy over the phone in a few minutes. You may call my cell phone if you’d like:
(650) 823-2803 (If I’m with a client I promise to call you back as soon as I am able.)
Chris Reich, Author of TeachU’s Business Talk Blog