Customer Service Quote of the Year

From Small by Choice, Whether Clients Like It or Not, a New York Times article about a successful small Chicago pizza shop that only opens 4 days a week, doesn’t do deliveries, has an owner that makes every pizza by hand, and refuses to allow customers to customize their own pie (emphasis is mine):

Q. In online reviews, some customers have complained about rudeness or arrogance. Where do you think that perception comes from?

A. Mr. Lessins: I think that perception of arrogance has to do with the sense of entitlement and a lack of respect for someone wanting to do their job. We’re just trying to do the job the best we can. We’re trying to provide a quality experience for everyone who comes in. In the food service business, it’s assumed that the customers have a set of God-given birthrights when they come into an establishment. It’s like they’ve been wronged in a lot of parts of their lives, and this is their chance to even the score.


7 comments on Customer Service Quote of the Year

  1. Rob says:

    So true. It’s good to stick to what you know, keep narrowly focussed and do the job right.

    There’s also a lot to be said for realising that after all, a business is often a means to and ends and if they’re happier running the place this way and they get enough customers to get sufficient financial rewards then why in the hell shouldn’t they run THEIR business how THEY want to?!

  2. Adam McFarland says:

    Couldn’t have said it better myself Rob.

  3. Rob says:

    I’ve been thinking about this a bit more and something struck me – the customers *think* they know about pizza, but they don’t. It’s happened before and people have had to learn about new ways – take starbucks or subway where you’re overwhelmed with choice, after being used to only having 2 or 3 options we now have hundreds – at first everyone thought it was weird and didn’t like it, but later learned the merits of doing it that way. Again with facebook changing….

    I guess maybe people don’t like stuff being “different” and they’re perceiving this pizza place like other pizza places, wheras they should see it in a different category altogether – a pizza boutique, if you will.

  4. Tim says:

    Rob, there is a great TED talk about just what you are talking about, it’s by Barry Schwartz, it’s called “The Paradox of Choice” It is one of my favorite TED talks, I highly recommend checking it out

  5. Rob says:

    It’s a great talk, but it’s not really what I meant – all I was meaning is that the angry customers are perhaps confused about what the pizza place is and don’t really recognise that it’s not like the pizza places they’re used to.

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