Given the number of times I come back from dining out and end up writing about it here, I’m thinking that maybe we should eat at home all the time. Many folks go out just for food; I seem to go out for food for thought.
In any event, we went to a local Chinese place where we’ve eaten many times. To us it’s very much like some of the best places we enjoy in Chinatown in NYC. The decor isn’t much but the food usually is. Getting the food, however, can be a challenge and it reminded me of another business point I’d like to share with you.
There was a special on the menu that seemed interesting but I was wondering a little bit about the dish. It was a “King Mushroom with Beef”. I was wondering what other vegetables came with that or if it was just beef and mushroom. I asked our server that question – are there other vegetables in the dish? He nodded and said “OK” and ran to the kitchen, obviously to ask. When he came back he said “OK, other vegetables with mushroom.”
When the dish showed up, there were a lot of other vegetables with the mushroom and no beef – he had taken my question about other vegetables as a request for a vegetarian dish (which was delicious, by the way). While I enjoyed the dish it was not what I thought I was getting and, therefore, had the potential to cause a problem.
If you have customer service folks (and that’s what a waiter is!) taking requests from customers, they need to speak the language of the customer fluently. It doesn’t matter if the rep is the only person in the place that speaks “customer” but they need to speak it. That goes beyond English. A computer sales rep needs to understand the language of motherboards. A guy selling golf clubs needs to know what a hozzle or lie angle is. The great customer service folks can even translate that language into something very understandable for customers – who hasn’t been in the car service place and wished the mechanic spoke English and not “engine?”
If you’re speaking a language your customers don’t understand, you might be setting yourself up for headaches bigger than those caused by having to learn that language. Am I speaking one you understand?