So I go to White Castle and order hamburgers with no ketchup. Hanging on my every word, the sales clerk types in, “No Pickle.”
My wife wants a particular kind of Vitamin B syrup. Our local health food store is out of it. So she phones another store and reads the specifications, and the clerk responds with a chirpy, “We’ve got it right here!” Ten miles and forty-five minutes later, we discover that “it” was not “it” after all, but another product entirely different from the one my wife requested. We had to take it back.
We order Chinese food. Chicken dumplings. The restaurant we order from every week makes nice chicken dumplings, nice and light. I bring home the order and we’ve got pork dumplings. Heavy pork dumplings.
Italian restaurant. My wife orders a single order of spaghetti with only a little bit of sauce. The guy who takes the order interprets that to mean a ton of spaghetti drowning in thick glops of sauce.
There you have it: all within a single week, four different businesses, and all four of them getting the order wrong. Whether you tell them what you want face-to-face or over the phone, they simply aren’t listening. The failure rate in this sample is 100%. If we had tried to place four more orders with four more businesses, I wonder if even one of them would have bothered to get it right.
Why is no one listening? How did “The customer is always right” morph into “The customer can go cly himself”? And how does anyone stay in business, with that attitude?