Speed or Service?

It was worth the wait... oh, I didn't have to wait!

It was worth the wait… oh, I didn’t have to wait!

It’s 9:30 a.m.

I am in the Minneapolis airport and I’ve been up since 3:45 a.m. aboard various flights. I walk into TGI Friday’s for breakfast because I haven’t yet eaten. I’m met by a pleasant woman in her mid-30’s that escorts me to a table and tells me my server will “be right with you”. I look around and I’m one of less than a half dozen people in the restaurant. Between the combination of open seating and the promise made by the hostess, I expect to at least get my caffeine fix quickly.

After 3-4 minutes, I lose my patience, pack up my bags, and move on to the next restaurant. Although I’d never had breakfast at Chick-fil-a, I love that they voiced an opinion and didn’t recant their position just because of public pressure. Although my food was delayed for two minutes, they let me know that as soon as I ordered it. Two minutes later, the bad taste left in my mouth by TGI Friday’s subpar service was replaced with that of a chicken biscuit (awesome, by the way).

You may think I was too quick to judge and didn’t give TGI Friday’s a chance. In fact, I did give them a chance and they set my expectation up front… then fell woefully short.

So was speed more important, or service? They are both intertwined, but if you don’t deliver on schedule, it’s much harder to overcome… even with stellar service.

Like it or not, this is the way your customers think. Some responses may take weeks while others should take seconds. What do your customers expect from you?

One Moore Thing:¬†Go out and talk to your clients and clients you lost. Ask them about your response time and your service. Don’t defend your organization, simply listen and ask what you could do better. Then go make changes.