giving out your cell phone to customers

you think its a good idea? to either have it printed on takeout menu in a first place or simply have labels made out with your name and cell, and what i do usually is when ring up the order i am making sure the customer is in my database, if not i ask him for his adress, etc if its customers first time at my store i ll give him quick overview of menu, will tell them what makes us different, give some suggestions for what to try next time, give them fridge magnet, rewards card… and i thought that if i also attached a label to their menu with my first name and cell phone and some kind of promise like “if smth is not up to your expectations, please call me and i ll make it right” that it would leave really great impression on new customers to stick with us? besides i hear now you can get cell phones that can have 2 sim cards, so that i dont even have to give them my actual cell, but have another number just for this purpose. Anyways, have anybody done it? may be you display your cell phone inside the store and ask people to call you in case of rude service or anything? do you think people will obuse it somehow or is it a good bold business move?

I have done this with boxtoppers & direct mailings; I made it obvious on them that it was my CELL #, and to call if we had fallen short of expectations in any way. The result was, I had 1 call with a problem, (cold & old pizza), 2 or 3 calls telling me how great the food & service was (nice egoboost), and several dozen from people who wanted to place an order. If and when I do it again, I will make it part of a quality guarantee that is going to be the major thrust of the piece … in previous pieces, it was more or less an add on to a regular ad, I think that may be why the message got a little bit lost.

I’d say, as long as you’re confident in your staff and your product, why not show it? Just make certain that you shout it - I think that may have been my mistake, but be aware of who your clientelle is: if you’re in a college town, you’ll likely be getting calls at 4:00 am from some drunken 19 year old demanding you get your a$$ in & make him a 12" pie :roll:

Sorry but I disagree with this 100%! You need to have employees that are trained and trusted to handle customer issues and not have customers that can just catch you at home or while you are on vacation because the extra cheese was not enough extra! Might as well furnish a small room to live in next too the walk-in. I am all for great customer service and serving a great product but the restaurant world already takes a lot out of its owners and I think this is opening yourself up to many headaches that should be handled by the manager or yourself while working. This is also pizza and not human organ transplants. You own a restaurant and need to have a life outside the walls. You should not be on-call for the general public. Your employees will know how to get ahold of you in the case that something of significant nature arises. :!:

I agree with Mike–NO WAY! If staff is well-trained, and trustworthy (otherwise, why have them on the clock?) they either will be able to deal with it themselves, or know when they need to contact owner/GM. If you want a completely full-time job, meaning 24/7, fine. But, going back to the other thread…burnout is a huge concern. If you don’t make the time for yourself, odds are great that you won’t last, either in business or in the business.

I disagree with the last two posts. This is one of areas where a independent has an advantage. I agree with not giving out your own personal cell phone, however, get a cell phone number that only you check. Build that into advertising dollars. Check it once a day or twice a day and make sure you return calls within a day. I cant tell you the number I times I am frustrated somewhere that I have spent my money, and it seems like no one cares. Yes your managers should be able to handle any sit. but the customer knowing that if they are happy or not satisfied that can call the head person if they see fit makes them feel better about spending their money and is a great advantage no chain offers. Wal-Mart does this with their store managers.

Not sure where I’ll end up on this issue, I can see the pluses…and the non-pluses for either side. I think were I to do it, it’d be the perfect place for one of those burner phones. Simply hand out that number and reload minutes when and if you needed. That way your actual cell stays yours. You could easily hand off your customer hot line cell to an on duty manager to deal with, they’d be the ones at the store to take care of it anyway and the customer would/should get a more prompt reply.

By giving that number out and not letting your first line people handle and learn how too handle situations you are making yourself that 24/7 employee and not the owner. I agree with the mental aspect of telling a customer “hey, call me” but I disagree with the idea of it having to happen. People will not ask the manager on duty if they see you pushing this number. Also, how does this play out when you the owner just handled the situation and all of a sudden your phone rings and it is the upset customer at table 3 that just called you to complain about YOU! The idea is a good marketing item but in reality if you want to survive and not burn out…you need to trust and build upon your workforce and business and not just cater to the every need of every customer.

Deacon you then do exactly what I described. People will call and talk to the person that might have just added to the problem. Might make matters worse than they would have been. Why not just stand behind your product 100% and have a very easy to enforce policy… “Make them happy!” Yes there will always be those that try to take advantage or abuse this policy and those that will never be happy no matter how hard one tries. Instead of needing a special phone to handle your overwhelming number of complaints!.. just work on providing the best service and food and not have your new “COMPLAINT LINE” the center of focus of your new ad campaign! :idea:

That said, how about an email link that people can give feedback and suggestions that only the owner reads. If someone has a complaint about their immediate food…call or walk up to the person on duty. If you have other advice concerning anything from food to whatever…drop me a quick and confidential email and I will personally reply with my thoughts.

works for me. Actually…we just don’t have complaints. It works best. :smiley:

I can see problems with certain people who had a complaint that they feel wasn’t addressed to their satisfaction (you all know the type).
Just wait for continual abusive calls at all hours.
Your business phone number is your busines phone number and leave it at that. As others said train your staff and empower them to make decisions if you are not available.
Giving your mobile number is going over the top in customer service. I can’t understand why some operators think that they must give their body and soul to try and please or gain customer satisfaction. You don’t see this from Walmart or any other major retailers or manufacturers so why do you get so hung up on wanting to give customers everything.
We have a great loyal customer base and continual growth by having a great product, backed up with great service, a clean and comfortable store and a profitable high priced menu.
Sure we have some complaints and yes sometimes customers have trouble reaching us, and especially me to whinge at if it is my night off, but the phone is not ringing every minute we are open (unfortunately) so they CAN contact us. Plus we have a contact page on our website.
Give out your mobile and then you will get abusive calls from the likes of the idiots who write scathing reviews on Urbanspoon (even though they have never been in your store - usually a competitor).
Time to get realistic on where to draw the line in “customer service”.
Dave

A small portion of the population have no concept of when is right to call and when is not. Whilst most will respect your intentions to have constant contact you will get the odd few that will call at ridiculous times few the most trivial of things. In a previous business I was woken up at 5:30 am for a simply enquiry.

Of course I give my number to the big customers, such as the chairman of our local football team and sports center. But the rest should be done in store or to a direct email to you.