Customer Care vs Customer Service

Recently my husband and I went to a nearby upmarket restaurant for dinner. I was looking forward to having their Camembert starter but as I’d had it before I knew I didn’t like the Nutty Melba toast served with it so I asked if they could possibly change the toast for normal bread. The waitress looked at me totally bewildered and said she doesn’t think they have any other bread. I knew there was other bread as there were other items on the menu with normal bread, so I asked her to please go and ask the chef.

After a few minutes she returned to advise that the chef is unable to change the menu. I thanked her for asking, after all she was just doing her job. When she asked what we would like to order I replied, nothing thank you, we will just finish our drinks and be going. They just lost a customer not because of bad food but because they did not show me that they cared.

I am pretty sure if I contacted the owners of the restaurant that they would practice their Customer Service and try to apologize and make amends. Customer Service, however, is something we should all strive to avoid as this is after the fact when you are resolving an issue or problem the customer is having or has had.

What I wanted on the day was Customer Care. If the restaurant had cared about me, their customer, they would have tried to make a plan, offer something else or even explain why they cannot change the toast for normal bread. Anything to try and show that, at least, they care. Caring about our customers before the time to ensure every experience is a great one will keep them coming back for more.

Being great at Customer Service is also important as you want to try and retain your client, but first prize is to care about your customers enough so that you never need to practice customer service.