Recently, my husband and I dined at Christini's Ristorante Italiano
in Orlando, Florida. We both agreed that we had never before enjoyed
such a fine dining experience. Discussing what made Christini's stand
out from other places we'd dined, we agreed that this establishment
has the art of exceptional customer service down to a fine science.
There were three keys to our pleasure that evening - every business's
customer service program should have them as cornerstones.
Attention to detail: We were greeted cheerfully by the maitre
d' and led to our table where our napkins were placed on our laps, with
an "Allow me, Mrs. Haggerty - allow me, Mr. Haggerty." The tables were
furnished with crisp linens and sparkling glassware, along with a tasteful
bouquet of fresh flowers. The d»cor was perfect and everything was in
order and spotless. Many businesses can take lessons from this example.
How many times have you walked into a store and seen merchandise strewn
around? How many times have you walked into an office and seen desks
piled high and wastebaskets overflowing? How many times have you walked
into a place of business and been ignored rather than welcomed as an
Responsiveness: During our entire evening, the waitstaff was
totally responsive. Wine glasses were refilled with perfectly chilled
wine before we noticed they were almost empty; used silverware was replaced
with clean; water glasses were refilled; the table was "swept" after
each course; we were constantly asked if everything was to our satisfaction.
The food was exquisitely prepared and served - and totally delectable.
I can't count the number of times I've been in other kinds of businesses
and felt as if I was intruding - if I asked for something I was treated
as if I was disturbing the staff's well-deserved peace and quiet or
told, "It's over there."
Teamwork: Every person at Christini's from the person who cleared
the table to the headwaiter to the maitre d' functioned as part of a
well-trained and well-organized team. The waiters all pitched in to
help each other out at all the tables. As he presented me with a perfect
long-stemmed rose, the headwaiter, Angelo, asked us if this was our
first visit to Christini's. When we replied affirmatively, he welcomed
us and said he hoped we'd return. Not more than a few minutes later,
the maitre d' came over and related that she'd been told it was our
first visit - how had our dining experience been? "Please come back!"
Sadly, I know we all know the feeling of being in other places and hearing
the lament, "It's not my job!"
If all our businesses paid attention to detail, were responsive to
needs and exemplified teamwork, as does the staff of Christini's, customer
service at all of our offices, stores, restaurants, and places of business
would be exceptional and we would have the "ART" down to a science!
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