Author Topic: How do you handle irrate customers?  (Read 8329 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline tsclipper

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 11
  • I Love Pizza!
How do you handle irrate customers?
« on: January 25, 2006, 02:02:41 PM »
I have a question for all the pizzaria owners out there. How do you handle irrate customers?
When sometimes customers are always right is wrong!!! I would LOVE to hear your imput on this subject.


Offline canadianbacon

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1041
  • Age: 48
  • DoughBoy
Re: How do you handle irrate customers?
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2006, 02:06:15 PM »
I don't have any help to offer, but it would be interesting to hear the story you have to tell
tsclipper. 

Sounds like it is going to be a doozy.....


I have a question for all the pizzaria owners out there. How do you handle irrate customers?
When sometimes customers are always right is wrong!!! I would LOVE to hear your imput on this subject.
Pizzamaker, Rib Smoker, HomeBrewer, there's not enough time for a real job.

Offline tsclipper

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 11
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: How do you handle irrate customers?
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2006, 02:19:37 PM »
unfortunately there are too many to tell and too little of time lol!!  :-D But here is just an example. I had a customer call and order at 1130 am 3 lg pizzas breadsticks and a salad. We werent real busy at the time so order went directly from oven to the residence which is only less then a mile away. They tipped the driver and were quite nice the driver informed me. At approximately 630 pm or so I had a lady call about a order I asked her name and it was the order that we took at 1130 am. She said she just got home from work and the food was terriable and rubbery and was not fit for her children to eat. She also informed me it had been sitting out the entire time and the meat tasted like it was bad. She demanded a full refund or a fresh order of food. Needless to say she got nothing from me but a dial tone. What are people out there thinking?

Offline canadianbacon

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1041
  • Age: 48
  • DoughBoy
Re: How do you handle irrate customers?
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2006, 03:01:25 PM »
I guess you have to read my response and take it with a grain of salt, and put yourself into chuckle mode...

Sounds like she was trying to screw you over for a free meal.

First off, why was an order made at 11 am for 3 large pizzas ?

Second, when pizza is ordered, it's taken for granted, and totally normal that it will be eaten
within the first moments of arrival at the person's front door.... I don't know anyone who
would order pizza and let it sit there all day (especially a MEAT pizza )

Third, - if it was rubbery, then SHE microwaved it.

Four  - perhaps she married a dope ? - seriously - who leaves a pizza topped with meat out of the fridge all day ?

And to be fair, - and see the other side of the coin - perhaps this happened:

The woman had her husband order 3 pizzas because he was home, so he had a good portion of one of them, and then
would share the rest with family later, however, anyone with 1/2 a brain has to know that fresh food is meant to be
eaten right away.  If you are going to re-heat food later, it should be put in the oven and watched carefully.

In any event, why it it YOUR problem, if somebody leave a pizza out all day on the table ? .... amazing world we live in  ::)

It does amaze me the stories you hear though.  Yup, you did right, - I don't know a single pizza place that would
do anything differently.


unfortunately there are too many to tell and too little of time lol!!  :-D But here is just an example. I had a customer call and order at 1130 am 3 lg pizzas breadsticks and a salad. We werent real busy at the time so order went directly from oven to the residence which is only less then a mile away. They tipped the driver and were quite nice the driver informed me. At approximately 630 pm or so I had a lady call about a order I asked her name and it was the order that we took at 1130 am. She said she just got home from work and the food was terriable and rubbery and was not fit for her children to eat. She also informed me it had been sitting out the entire time and the meat tasted like it was bad. She demanded a full refund or a fresh order of food. Needless to say she got nothing from me but a dial tone. What are people out there thinking?
Pizzamaker, Rib Smoker, HomeBrewer, there's not enough time for a real job.

Online Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 21188
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Re: How do you handle irrate customers?
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2006, 03:14:54 PM »
cstimmer,

I am an avid reader of the posts at the Think Tank at PMQ.com, and I read about customer woes like yours all the time. And there are as many proposed solutions as there are people asked for their comments. The following sequence of posts is just one of many examples:
http://www.pmq.com/cgi-bin/tt/index.cgi/noframes/read/25134.

Peter


Offline Hi Gluten

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 48
  • This is how you make Swiss Cheese, not Mozz!
Re: How do you handle irrate customers?
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2006, 05:17:56 PM »
I do agree with canadianbacon on the points given.

I would first try to ascertain if this is a legitimate complaint. First I would ask them to bring back the pizzas to the store. If what she says is valid she would bring back all the pizza, say minus 2 slices. If they ate a large portion of the order, they would not be able to comply. You have now called their bluff. If for some strange reason they do bring it back intact. I would give them a new order and let them know they would have to pick up the orders from now on, since you can't guarantee timely delivery service to their satisfaction. If they ever do order again, when they pick it up, show them the pie(s). That way they can't complain afterwards.

I generally give others the benefit of the doubt. But, only once.

Ten to one it is not a legitimate complaint.

Offline itsinthesauce

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 446
  • This is a sickness.
Re: How do you handle irrate customers?
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2006, 05:43:28 PM »
That's utterly ridiculous! However, being a business owner, I too will give people one chance, but not two. I put a detailed note in the POS System to alleviate a second chance. Ah the pleasure of owning a retail business!

Offline Bill/SFNM

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4036
  • Location: Santa Fe, NM
Re: How do you handle irrate customers?
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2006, 05:57:37 PM »
My hat goes off to you owners in the retail food biz. It's got to be one of the toughest jobs around. I seriously doubt I could put up with that kind of low-life who try tries to take such blatant advantage of you. Like the woman who put a severed finger in a bowl of chili and then tried to extort Wendy's.

Bill/SFNM

Offline tsclipper

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 11
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: How do you handle irrate customers?
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2006, 05:58:33 PM »
I will normally especially if I know it was a in house mistake will do whatever I can to correct the problem and make the customer happy. But come on give me a break I cant help that everyone else ate the food for lunch and she had to eat it for dinner. NOT MY PROBLEM!!!  And then call me and start to cuss at me and expect for me to respond. It fell on deaf ears. This is where I really draw the line is when customers get verbally out of line. Not only to myself but my employees who are afraid to stand up for themselves.

Offline itsinthesauce

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 446
  • This is a sickness.
Re: How do you handle irrate customers?
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2006, 06:09:08 PM »
Usually, I picture this type of person as a 350 pound Peggy Bundy type, cigarette hanging out her mouth, dropping ashes into the cold pizza and then feeding it to her family. LOL

Seriously, customer service along with an excellent product is the only way to succeed in any business. Assuming you have an excellent product, it's no good without excellent customer service...they go hand in hand. I guess my point is that you do the best you can, but some people you are never going to please, especially those that blame you for their mistakes.


Offline chiguy

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 560
Re: How do you handle irrate customers?
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2006, 09:48:39 PM »
 Tsclipper,
 I did not feel that you were out of line with turning this customer away, it was a ridiculous complaint. A  reheated pizza is never the same as oven hot pizza. This is something that needs to be expressed to them. If you have the families address you could always send them a letter expressing regret and a free pie as a peace offering. As much as i personally hate the saying  "The customer is always right" but the customer is always right. You can also look at it as 3 pizza,breadsticks,salad a month equals at least $30 or $360 a year. I would not let these hearty eaters get away.  Serenity Now,  Chiguy

Offline tsclipper

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 11
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: How do you handle irrate customers?
« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2006, 11:29:26 AM »
I do agree with you about losing a good customer and trying to make peace with them if they were a good customer or repeat customer. This was a first timer and I know they were just trying to get something for nothing. I am in my store from opening until closing everyday and I am very quality oriented and my employees stride for that same quality that I expect. But sometimes I think no matter how much you try to do for some customers it will still not be enough. I have had some people call and say they ordered 2 months ago and there order was bad and some lady told them to call back and they could get it replaced. If there ever is a complaint I am the only one that handles the problems. Then I documentate the problem and have it posted for my employees by name and what needs to be replaced on the order. So whenever they answer the phone they have it and there are no questions about what they need to do. Unfortunately there is a high turnover rate of employees in this business and you are constantly training new people and things do happen. When they happen legitimately I have no problem with fixing it. But what happened with these other customers was of no fault of my employees or my own.

Offline Perk

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 189
  • Age: 47
  • Location: Jacksonville
  • Dreams of Pizza!
Re: How do you handle irrate customers?
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2006, 10:28:27 AM »
I would tell the customer, next time come in a dine. The pizza is much fresher than buying it 8hrs ahead of time.
 If you do come in, I would give a 15% off your next dinning in purchase.
then I would ask her if she plans to come in soon too dine.

That's it.

Really when it comes to pizza, if it's good you don't need to go overboard you just need to be polite and listen and then make a small token offer then say I am sorry I have to go and serve other customers but let me know if you plan to come in tonight or tomorrow.
-Dave
Jacksonville Fl.

Offline tsclipper

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 11
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: How do you handle irrate customers?
« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2006, 11:19:51 AM »
Well I guess I had this customer pegged from the beginning. I just went out to my mailbox to get my mail and what do I find but a NSF check for $68.18 from my irrate customer.  :'(We all had a feeling from the get go this was going to happen with the large purchase they made and the area that it went to. Also being the first time they ever ordered and the stink they made that evening. I guess if I would of replaced their order they would of got 2 for the price of  $00.00  LOL!!   :-D The joys of the restaurant business LOL!! :-D

Offline canadianbacon

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1041
  • Age: 48
  • DoughBoy
Re: How do you handle irrate customers?
« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2006, 11:28:26 AM »
Hi TSclipper,

are checks a day to day thing at most pizza shops in your area ?

I've never been to a pizzeria that would accept a check, if I did that around here they
think I was joking if I pulled out my checkbook.  It's cash or debit card (cash ), and that's it.

The major companies ( franchises ) will do credit cards though, but not the smaller independant pizzerias.

The places around here are cash business only.  I guess for small pizza owners is the only
way to go, as you know it's cash, and it's instant payment ( gratification I guess u could call it )

Not a great story.  :(
Pizzamaker, Rib Smoker, HomeBrewer, there's not enough time for a real job.

Offline tsclipper

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 11
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: How do you handle irrate customers?
« Reply #15 on: January 31, 2006, 04:17:19 PM »
Yes, unfortunately checks have been accepted here so long now it is really hard to change. I purchased this business after it had been operating for 20 yrs by a guy and he would only take checks or cash no credit or debit. He refused to update with the times and with the price to use a credit/debit machine. Shortly after purchasing the business I got a credit card machine in here. Thinking then my check purchases would gradually decline but I was wrong and they are still in full force due to the customer base being with the old owner for so long. They are not willing to change either. Even though I tell everyone we do take credit/debit they still want to write checks. If I turn away check writers I am basically turning away majority of my business.
Anyways, I don't get back alot of them very often and when I do they pay the check and a additional  fee to the county attorney when I turn them over. Which then I receive at the end of the month or whenever they collect on it.  I use to try to collect on them myself but then again you get irrate people basically making it out to be your fault and they couldn't of wrote a bad check blah blah blah!!!  LOL !!  So I then just started taking them to the county attorneys office and letting them do the dirty work for me.  >:D  So my friends that got irrate with me last week and stiffed me on that check will be hearing from the county real soon and if they don't comply I have to go up and sign a warrant on them. It could get real ugly for anyone that writes a bad check. I don't like doing business like that but sometimes you have no choice.

Offline Acehigh

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 7
Re: How do you handle irrate customers?
« Reply #16 on: February 08, 2006, 08:17:07 PM »
Our pizza shop is in the city.  Sometimes you get some ghetto people.  About once a day you will find someone trying to cheat us, and it never gets old.  Sometimes we let them go, sometimes if they start to argue, we'll tell them off.  If its someone who calls our shop regularly and one time out of 100 they call in a complaint.  Even if we think its a bogus complaint we will give it to them.   The other day we had someone who called from a hotel.  Its a popular hotel but theres 1 near us which we take about 5-10 deliveries to every day.  It was superbowl sunday.  Anyways, we sent it out and apparently we had the wrong hotel and the hotel manager said it would be this other hotel about 15 mins away.  So the driver went over to the hotel.  It wasnt there.  The delivery driver was coming back and the guy called again.  This time a third time asking where his pizza was.  He was very calm about it, he just was wondering how much longer.  Not trying to ask for a discount or anything, just hungry.   Well it was about 2 hrs since he ordered.  I picked up the phone and my boss told me just to tell him to forget about it after we found out that its another 30 minute drive.  Well after that he told me how he comes every year and always buys from our pizza shop and this time he had people down with him and he just HAD to show them our pizza.  He explained how much he loved our hospitality from the times before.  So then I told him to hold on for a second.  Got ahold of the manager(my cousin) and basically we agreed to take it so i told him we would reheat his food and send it down right away with a 50% discount making it 13 dollars even.  When it finally got there 2 and a half hours after the original call he still tipped the driver 7 bucks.  This just shows it pays to be nice every once in awhile.

 Wow im really tired and after rereading that it didnt make sense to me so hopefully you understand that.

Offline crusty2

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1
Re: How do you handle irrate customers?
« Reply #17 on: March 09, 2006, 05:30:42 PM »
from the other side of the coin:

i ordered my regular pie from my regular pizza place a few years ago. the same one i was using for years, phone number memorized etc.

well they delivered, i paid, and i got someone else's order. i called to complain and they how much i paid, which was a couple of dollars cheaper than normal, and i told them so. they said i got what i paid for and that was all they would do about it.

i missed the pizza, but i never ordered from them again.

BTW - I moved a few years ago, no good pizza places around here, so i just learned how to make a pretty good grilled pizza myself, and will be spending some time here, learning how to make it even better!

Offline Kamahao

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: How do you handle irrate customers?
« Reply #18 on: March 12, 2006, 12:40:40 PM »
That's an easy one to answer.  Hopefully, we are endowed with common sense.  You handle an irate customer just as you would do as if you were a judge in a courtroom.  You use "reasonableness" as your guide. Customer is NOT always right, but you should minimize a complaint or hurt feelings as best you can without selling yourself out.  Anybody that needs to kiss a customers behind just to make a buck is a sellout. 

Let's face, an "unreasonable" customer will never be satisfied no matter what you do and will return to make your business life miserable.  Cut them lose and do yourself and your staff a favor by telling them that although you appreciate their business, it's apparent you can't make them happy and you are ceasing the business relationship with them.

Offline RoadPizza

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 348
  • Mozzarella Addict
Re: How do you handle irrate customers?
« Reply #19 on: April 07, 2006, 03:52:20 AM »
That's an easy one to answer.  Hopefully, we are endowed with common sense.  You handle an irate customer just as you would do as if you were a judge in a courtroom.  You use "reasonableness" as your guide. Customer is NOT always right, but you should minimize a complaint or hurt feelings as best you can without selling yourself out.  Anybody that needs to kiss a customers behind just to make a buck is a sellout. 

Let's face, an "unreasonable" customer will never be satisfied no matter what you do and will return to make your business life miserable.  Cut them lose and do yourself and your staff a favor by telling them that although you appreciate their business, it's apparent you can't make them happy and you are ceasing the business relationship with them.

Very sage advice.

Unfortunately, it's a cut-throat world we live in.  I believe in killing them with kindness.  Don't let them walk ALL over you, but do whatever you can to hear them out.  Let them get their complaint off their chest.  Really listen.  If you hear the same complaints enough times from different people, it's probably true.  Offer them something.  Anything to make them come back.  Create RAVING FANS.