LTV and crappy customer service

After a couple of delightful nights at the Melia White House in Regents Park, it was down to earth in the last 24 hours with two classic examples of lousy thinking.
First – after the game yesterday, I decided to celebrate with a pizza at Prezzo in Falmouth – having printed a “two for one” voucher off their web site. Nice (I thought) – BOGOF pizza after watching the Reds win.
The restuarant was opened last year and we have become quite friendly with the owner, Paul, who always makes a fuss of us when we go down there.
Not yesterday.
We arrived at about 6.30pm to see that there were maybe 15-20 people in a restuarant that has capacity for over 100. Not busy.
We walk in the door expecting Paul’s usual warm greeting.
There is a new restaurant manager – all male, smart, busy, busy.
He walks past us at a rate of knots and exclaims “I’ll be with you in one minute.”
OK – fair enough.
A couple of minutes later he arrives, place map in hand, and asks:
No – “good evening, welcome to Prezzo, how can I help you?”
Just one word.
Catching on quickly, I stay calm and respond;
“we do not have a reservation – we would like a table for two please.”
He looks at me as if he has discovered dog shit in his shoe tread.
“Ah – then if you would like to take a seat I will be with you in 10-15 minutes” – he says, pointing at the lounge area.
I look at Annie – she looks at me.
“No thanks” I say.
“OK” he says – turns and walks away as if he has won a competition – triumphant would be how I would describe his demeanour.
I’ll have to pop down some time this week and explain to Paul that he has made a recruitment error.
Falmouth isn’t big enough or busy enough for a prima donna maitre’de.
Second example.
I have a reservation tonight at The Old Thorns hotel in Hampshire – in fact for the next two nights.
I’ve decided to get up at dawn tomorrow and drive up there early – so I ask Phillippa to cancel tonight at 9.00am this morning.
Every other hotel is good for a cancellation up to 4.00pm on the day of arrival.
Not so the Old Thorns – a £50 cancellation charge.
What they don’t understand is the concept of LTV.
That means Long Term Value.
They keep their £50.
They lose all my future business – and hopefully the business of anyone reading this blog.
What goes around……..


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Chris Barrow

Chris Barrow has been active as a consultant, trainer and coach to the UK dental profession for over 20 years. As a writer, his blog enjoys a strong following and he is a regular contributor to the dental press. Naturally direct, assertive and determined, he has the ability to reach conclusions quickly, as well as the sharp reflexes and lightness of touch to innovate, change tack and push boundaries. In 2014 he appeared as a “castaway” in the first season of the popular reality TV show “The Island with Bear Grylls”. His main professional focus is as Coach Barrow, providing coaching and mentorship to independent dentistry.