A Prime Example of Customer Disservice

pregnant womanHave you heard this one? A woman walked into a bar – no priest, no rabbi or any other kind of person, just a woman. She sat down next to her friend. The woman ordered a glass of water because her eggo was preggo.

A little while later, she went with her wee one to wee wee. When she returned, the bouncer asked if she had a bun in the oven. She affirmed that she was working on a new release.

The bouncer threw the baby’s mother out without the fire water! She was expecting, but this was unexpected.

This isn’t a joke. A bouncer at a bar in Chicago actually asked a pregnant woman to leave, even though she wasn’t drinking alcohol.

They dissed their customer! The bar is standing behind the bouncer, explaining that she could have been hurt if a fight broke out.

Let’s dissect how they could have avoided customer disservice:

Fights
If fights break out that often in the bar, they should post signs to warn their patrons. Here are a few suggested warning signs:

  • Drink it in but don’t fight it out.
  • When some drink from the rail, they’re more inclined to fight tooth and nail.
  • Intoximacation may lead to an inclinimation to fight.
  • When others get smashed, you may get smashed – even if you aren’t drinking.

Your customer may be willing to pay you to take on risks they aren’t willing to take. However, it’s up to the customer to determine whether or not they’re willing to take a risk. This bar should have realized that.

Systems

If fights don’t break out that often, this is a systems problem. Like a lot of small businesses, this bar needs to build some infrastructure. We can’t imagine it’s an infrequent occurrence for pregnant women to come into their bar.

In your business, try to imagine every possible situation. What if …

1. your power goes out
2. a disaster occurs (fire, natural, etc.)
3. someone gets unruly (customer, employee)
4. someone gets hurt

These situations (and many, many more) can, and should, be anticipated. Then determine how you want it handled and write it down.

But that’s not good enough. You need to clearly communicate it to your staff.

But that’s not enough. You have to repeat it, over and over again, until it becomes second nature for every person who may have to deal with that type of situation.

This customer
The woman says she was humiliated. She is considering contacting a lawyer. We can’t make any predictions about the validity of the case. We hope, in a society fueled by legal remedies, there could be a better solution.

But there won’t be if the bar remains reactive. After seeking approval from their own attorney, it seems the bar would be well served by offering the woman a gift certificate. They’re open for lunch and dinner. Perhaps being their guest would help remedy the situation.

However, the woman was visiting her parents. She grew up in the neighborhood where the bar is located but she doesn’t live there now. So the bar should also offer to buy a gift certificate to one of her favorite places in her current city.

If she’s not interested in a gift certificate, ask a simple question:
What would you (the customer) like us to do?

In most cases, customers ask for less than you may offer. In those cases when they ask for more, respectfully decline but focus on what you can do.

By acting proactively, this bar can take this unfortunate situation and build a better business. You can do that by learning from them instead of experiencing it yourself. That’s BIGG success!

(Image in today's post by bjearwicke)

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