Good Customer Service Has No Price. It’s Priceless.

A tale of two restaurants.

I was chatting with my brother recently and he related two customer service stories that made me think about the relationship between price and value. And that low cost doesn’t mean low value or poor service.

My brother was eating at an upscale restaurant in Las Vegas with some friends. During the meal, he asked for some extra sauce for his pasta. The waitress brought a tiny cup with additional sauce. When they got the bill — over $200 for the three of them — it contained a $1 charge for the extra sauce. Considering the overall cost of the meal my brother felt it wasn’t appropriate to charge an extra dollar for sauce. He complained to his waitress who, after checking with her manager, came back to say there was nothing she could do about it.

After an excellent meal he left with a bad taste in his mouth.

CiCi's Pizza

On another occasion he was eating with his family at CiCi’s pizza. It was $5 for their unlimited buffet of pizza. His favorite is plain cheese, but it’s usually scooped up quickly by all the kids. When he sat at his table the manager asked my brother if there was anything he could do for him. My brother mentioned he liked the plain cheese pizza. The manager said he’d make sure my brother got some.

The plain cheese pizza came out and was, again, snapped up by the kids in the restaurant. My brother was really in no hurry so he was waiting for the next batch. While he was waiting the manager came back and asked if my brother had gotten his pizza. My brother replied that he had not. The manager apologized and went away. He returned with some plain cheese pizza for my brother, an additional apology and a full refund of the $5 he had paid for his meal.

After an excellent meal he left with a large dose of good will.

Paying a high price doesn’t guarantee you good service, and paying a low price doesn’t mean they will skimp on service.

Good customer service has no price. It’s priceless.

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  • Your bother’s Las Vegas restaurant experience reminded me of a luxury hotel that a close friend of my mom’s stayed at in Venice. She’d paid her bill, left, and was about to board her ferry when she realized that a hotel employee had been running after her. He was loudly indignant that she had left owing them 2 Euros for a fax. Needless to say, she never stayed there again.

  • Thanks, Daria. It brings to mind that it’s the inexpensive hotels that have free WiFi. :)