Customer Complaint....

I had a customer call tonight with a complaint. They ordered a Veggie pizza and said that it did not have cashews on it. The person who made it could not remember if they did or did not put the cashews on the pizza. Our policy is to have the cashier open the box and have the customer verify that the pizza is correct/acceptable. This was done and the customer and her husband looked at it (video verification).

I received a call from the angry customer. I told her that I would be happy to make her another pizza and that it would be ready when she arrived. I told her that I needed the pizza to help fix the problem, to see whether the cook did not put enough cashews on the pizza or forgot altogether. She said that she lives 20 minutes away and that it was to far to go back and since we don’t deliver, she asked what I would do for her. I said that since you do not want to drive back for another pizza, that I could put it down that we owe them a topping next time. Sometimes this is all they want. If they still complain, I’ll offer a free app. If that doesn’t work, I’ll offer half off of their next pizza of the same size.

Before I could even get to that, she immediately said that was unacceptable and that she was going to give me a poor Yelp review. I asked her what she would like me to do. She stated that she wanted a free pizza next time. I told her that I could not give her a free $20 pizza, just because one topping was left off a pizza. I was getting ready to offer her a free app or even half off of her next pizza, when she again threatened Yelp. This irritated me, but I did not let the customer know that. I just told her that I was sorry she felt that way and that I hoped she had a nice night.

I would love to hear what you do in a circumstance where there may or may not have been a mistake on a pizza and the customer refuses to bring the possibly incorrect, burnt, etc…pizza back and wants a free pizza next time.

The FIRST time I would give them a free pizza and record it in the POS.

Mistakes are made, and like Daddio, i would have just offer’d to replace the pizza (tho i always try to get them to bring in the “bad” one). But i always log the complaints into the POS. Revention has this nifty little complaint database that the customer never see’s and can not be accessed via the normal screens if a customer were to come in and see the screen while we were taking the order.

But reading what you said, my gut just screams scam. Specially since she jumped straight to Yelp instead of trying to work with you.

Good customer service is about giving the customer exactly what they wanted without them having to jump through hoops for it. You know that this customer ordered and paid for their pizza but you are not certain if the pizza was made correctly. Make it right, right off the bat. Don’t try to negotiate from a free topping to an appetizer to a half price pizza. A free pizza next time costs you $5 or so. A loyal customer will generate a heck of a lot more than that in the long run. A pissed off customer might cost you a lot more than that in lost revenue as they voice their displeasure with their neighbors and yelp.

My personal philosophy and the way I train my team is to always offer a replacement if a pizza is incorrect and note in the POS system to insure that we have a record of it. The customer is expecting to have the experience of tasting all the flavors of the toppings they ordered and I understand how disappointment can arise when that doesn’t happen. It’s much easier in my book to spend the $ to remake the pizza to create a happy customer than deal with the backlash of an angry customer.

So why did it matter to you when she arrived? That day or the next week, what is the difference?

I’m always surprised when people are surprised that customers know when you are calling them a liar by putting conditions on what you are so happy to do for them.

I agree with the other posts. You would give her a free replacement right then but not on another day? Makes no sense to me.

At this point, I would call her back and apologize first for the mistake and second for not thinking clearly when you spoke to her and offer TWO free pizzas next time they order.

This has happened to me a couple of times. Some customers have called, just saying they wanted to let me know for my own reference, and don’t want anything. A couple of them wanted a free pie delivered. We don’t deliver so I give them a freebie next time. What can you do?
I had a lady come in last week and bought a 12 in. combo to go, took it home and came back with one small slice in the box and said it was soggy and wanted her money back. I just gave it to her. Everyone said I shouldn’t have. Place was packed, and everyone was looking at her like she was nuts, haha.

We handle complaints by replacing the menu item for free on their next visit and we also give them a $5 gift certificate for not being completely satisfied with there visit. It is always best to let customers know that I am willing to go out of my way to make them happy. In the situation that you posted, I would have delivered the pizza to them (I don’t deliver either), if I could have.

+1. Listen to Paul, Paul is wise.

Our principle: “Whenever possible, give the customer the benefit of the doubt. It is better to let 10 scammers get away with it than risk losing one good customer.” Most businesses are generally terrible at customer service and take the opposite tack, chasing off good customers left and right out of fear that a single scammer might pull one over on them. I’m more than okay with my competitors doing this as it makes my business success that much easier!

Definately better to look at the “big picture”…

Yeah, don’t think twice about “the principle of it all”. Just react like the customer is your Aunt Emma, and offer a replacement pie anytime they want it. If you have a system to record this, maybe be a little less accommodating the next time this customer tries to hustle you.

The way I look at it, “Just Make it right”, (within reason) because if you have a upset customer, they will tell everyone they know, they will tell complete strangers about their bad experience.
Yet, the happy customers seem to not tell anyone their pleasurable experience.
We ask many of our noobs how they found us, and well over 99% say online reviews, so I will not let a few bucks destroy our outstanding online review presence

Contrary to the feelings of some here, Yelp can be your friend. Do the right thing, serve good stuff, provide good service and commit to a clean business environment and the positive reviews will reward you. Telling a neighbor gets a reaction from one household, while telling the world (Yelp) tells … ummm, the world.

Only when Yelp allows the good review to stay up…

Funny thing, I go to a breakfast group every week where we talk politics and meet various politicians, a couple of weeks ago a close friend asked me why I do not do a better job of managing our reviews online and he told me some of the things he has read. Our business has been growing rapidly in the last couple of years with minimal advertising, the least advertising I have ever done in 13 years. I told him so and that I pretty much ignore what is in these reviews since when I did look at them the negative ones were mostly lies so what can you do other than respond that the writer is lying which will just start a flame war. The occasional negative comment has not hurt us and my biggest problem right now is hiring employees that are willing to work and capable of learning so we can keep up with the flow. Yelp and google are not that important, at least in my market. Word of mouth is everything.

Let me know when you figure that part out…

When I get that down I will give up the shop and go on the road consulting.

I’ve found a few reasonable questions will weed out most scammers. We do deliver so I’ve had drivers run out replacement pizzas for customers that picked them up. That said, as much as it hurts, if we forget anything on a pizza, we replace the whole thing. It hardly ever happens and it’s just not worth the aggravation.

And those axe grinding yelp reviews about missing a topping, eh, unless they make a bunch of stuff up I really don’t think many people read them and decide to not try you out. If you have a pattern of bad reviews that’s another story. We have 100+ 5 star Facebook reviews and one customer that changed from 5 stars to 1 star because she didn’t think I put enough tomatoes on her pizza and than ranted about it for an entire paragraph. It just makes them look ridiculous.

However, I am glad to see that the axe grinding urbanspoon reviews are now filtered with Zomato taking over. That was a pleasant surprise.
I just have to shake my head. This is a year old and they still claim they don’t do it.