So almost three weeks ago WordCamp Mumbai 2015 finished. A lot of people spoke of many things geeky but also a lot about how to give support, how to deal with customers or users of products, how to decide who we are building products for?
You know the usual brilliant and insightful discussions that happen at conventions and conferences but are soon forgotten in a few weeks as the humdrum of everyday life and work returns.
But a great lesson was taught to me about extraordinary customer service (or support) in the last month by a very unlikely source. It was a small restaurant that opened just over a month ago.
Now I live very close to the railway station of the Goregaon suburb of Mumbai. In walking distance are several eating joints. Most are not fancy and a lot of them actually do a lot of business delivering lunches and dinners to offices and even residential areas in the neighbourhood. All of them offer free home delivery. Free home delivery is like a great USP but actually everyone is offering it now a days.
Our household is no exception to the neighbourhood habits and we often order food from outside on weekends. Let say our favourite place to order food from was “Restaurant A”. We have been ordering food from them many a weekends for a good part of the past decade. Let’s say this delivering dinners market is pretty much captive where I stay.
So a month ago “Restaurant X” opens. It’s nothing special. It had closed down a year or two ago. Probably someone revived it got some things fixed, fresh coat of paint and the works. But remember this is a neighbourhood that love home delivery. So Restaurant X was no exception. They offered free home delivery like everyone else.
We came to know about Restaurant X through the usual pamphlet being dropped door to door by the morning newspaper delivery guy. So it’s a new restaurant with very much the same menu that “Restaurant A” – our usual. But we want to try out what’s special. Maybe they have better quality. Usually new places have better quality in the beginning atleast. A call is made. An order is placed.
First impression was good. The person who took the order did something quite interesting. He repeated the order out again clearly and unhurriedly. This act speaking unhurriedly probably meant he had to speak for 10 seconds more. But chances are over the 10 phones he answers he was easily understood and hardly ever told to repeat what he said. This guy is probably saving time and leaving people on the other side less frustrated.
The packaging, the delivery time and the food itself was all pretty acceptable. It was as good or as bad as “Restaurant A” the one we were always going to compare it with.
But then a few minutes after dinner was delivered we get a call. Polite questions are asked. Did the delivery man have the correct change? Was the delivery was made in time? And the most important question “Was your food warm?”
So with such nice hassle free home delivery, we ordered a couple of more times. Each time the staff taking down the order and delivering the food were polite, nice and basically treating its customers as humans and not just customers.
Over the month I have now realised that we the loyal customers of “Restaurant A” have not ordered from them for over 5 weeks. We have exclusively ordered from “Restaurant X”. Loyalties have changed!
Both serve decent food, decent portions, decent delivery timings. Actually there have been other places we have tried too in the past. The product and the general service is the same.
But yes, only one of them bothers to ask every single time “Was your food warm?” 🙂