Monday, October 15, 2012

How To Win a Customer Back - Ask Mimi's

I'd like to be sitting down with you in my favorite restaurant to really give you the flavor of this post. But, since there's only one of me and I can only be in one place, I'll settle for imagining I'm tasting a Mimi's Carrot Raisin Muffin as I type. You can too!

In case you didn't catch on, I'm promoting Mimi's Cafe today! But they almost lost my business after one bad night. Let me tell you what happened and why I'm still devoted to Mimi's!

My mother and sister and I have been patronizing Mimi's for years. Not only is the food excellent but the service is always great! This summer when they gave out the promotional codes to win a trip to Paris, we sent in a lot. Which means we had eaten there a lot. So when my friend visited from Michigan I went in to Mimi's to get some take-out muffins to go.

The hour was late. It must have been after dinnertime, but well before closing. The restaurant was not very full of patrons. I asked the girl behind the corner for a dozen muffins. She seemed flustered as she looked under the counter, and then popped up, saying they must be out of containers. 

She walked behind a walled area, and I mindlessly watched the baseball game on a flat screen in front of me. Serveral employees filed in and out of that area, about six in all. One asked me if I'd been helped. I said yes. After a few more minutes, a young man in an apron came out and without speaking to me began to watch the game as well, his back to me.

At this point, I wondered if the waitress who'd taken my order had forgotten me. I waited some more.

Finally, she came back with a dozen muffins in two separate clamshell containers. (I'd been expecting them in the lovely cardboard and plastic wrapped box that I'd gotten before)

I paid and left, feeling it was a very "un-Mimi's-like" experience. I had been spoiled by my previous excellent service. So after coming home, I filled out the survey on the receipt essentially telling them what I just wrote here. Someone wrote back immediately, and apologized  and within days I had a Mimi's gift certificate in my hands.

My faith in the chain was restored and I was so impressed that I wanted to share what I think is an excellent example of customer service in the 'teeth' of a bad experience.

I took a picture of our waitress, Debbie. She has served us many times and was not involved in the incident above. I told her I'd put her picture on my blog and she reluctantly agreed.

Have you had an experience with good or bad customer service? I'd love to hear about it!

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