Saturday, January 5, 2008

I took on a new role this week. There is a great new site called and they are searching for a blogger in every city to write about their hometown. I am the new Lynnwood 98037 blogger! Check it out to see if your city has a representative yet...maybe they are looking for YOU! Here is my first blog entry....

Kudos to great customer service

With so many great restaurants to choose from in Lynnwood these days, eating out seems to be more an everyday occurrence than the special treat of years past. Lines out the doors and waits up to an hour and a half for your beeper to go off are becoming the norm.
So, with all the choices we have, how do we decide where to go? What makes a restaurant the most worthy of our time and hard earned money? Great food is the obvious criteria, but is closely followed in my book by excellent customer service. Now I realize we can't punish an entire restaurant based on the skill or mood of a single employee, but how a restaurant handles errors, excessive waits, cold food, and such are what truly identify their customer service code.
I can't count the number of times I have voiced a courteous complaint only to hear, "Oh......." A long pause followed by the handing over of the bill and a quick exit. It's not like I am expecting a lot. I merely wish for an apology and an assurance that the next time I come, I won't encounter the same problem. I point it out, they fix it...everybody's happy.

This week I chose to dine with my adult daughter at PF Chang's for lunch. I have been there a couple times and love not only the food, but the attentive staff as well. We ordered, we ate (the food, as usual, was excellent), and then we waited. And we waited. The to-go box we'd requested never arrived. After ten or more minutes I went up to the front counter and asked if I could please get a bill as I needed to leave soon. A gentleman quickly approached and confirmed that I was waiting for a bill and a to-go box, to which I replied, "I'll leave the food, I just really need to pay and leave." He returned promptly with bill in hand and introduced himself. He said lunch was on the house and as I looked down at my bill it read, Balance Due....$0.00. I was shocked! I have had cold food in restaurants and have still been charged for it. I have waited over 30 minutes for my order to be taken with barely an apology. And for this little lapse in attention, I was receiving my lunch for FREE?

How can they stay in business with that kind of customer service code? Well, that is simple...they gained my respect, they re-gained my loyalty, and they re-affirmed that they are a top-notch place to go to receive wonderful food and above-and-beyond customer service. They have proven they truly care about their customers. And in exchange for that, here I am spreading the word. Not because they asked me to or expected me to, but because I feel they earned it! They deserve all four stars! Hats off to manager Jody Senyohl and his staff...well all except for that MIA waitress.

I think the P.F. in P.F. Chang's must stand for People First!


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