How Are Your Mistakes Defining Your Business?

Last night I went for dinner with a friend at a new restaurant called Tempest Steakhouse in Vancouver. The server who took our order pointed out to us that “medium rare” would mean the steaks would be “warm red” in the middle. I was pleased and asked her to tell the cook to err on the side of rare.

Our wine was delivered by a friendly chap who introduced himself as the manager of the restaurant and said he had worked at Morton’s Steakhouse in Vancouver before it had closed.

I love a good, well-cooked steak so now my expectations were quite high. When we were served, my companion’s steak was cooked quite nicely. Mine was grey inside which was not how the server had described their version of medium rare.

I called her over and the steak was whisked away with the promise that a properly cooked steak would appear quickly. I nibbled on my potatoes as my companion ate her steak. My new steak was delivered by the ex-Morton’s employee who waited while I cut into it. The inside was barely pink, certainly not “warm red”. Since my friend had almost finished her meal, I decided against letting the restaurant make a third attempt at getting it right.

I did, however, show the inside to the ex-Morton’s employee and asked him if he thought it was medium rare. He said nothing. We finished our meal in peace. Both the server and the manager seemed to avoid our table and when the server removed our plates, she was distinctly less friendly than she had been when we sat down. When the bill came, we were charged full price for everything, including the sub-par steak.

So here are some things to think about when you deal with your clients or customers;

Do you make your mistakes their problem?

Do you fix the relationship as well as the problem?

How do you handle expectations?

Does your brand or name (ie Steakhouse) accurately reflect the product or service you deliver?

Do you believe that “good enough” will make them come back?

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