3 Quick Ways to Whip Up Creative Customer Service

detail-whipped-cream-300x224To celebrate my boyfriend’s 30th birthday, we keep it low key and go to our favorite burger place, Zinburger for a meal of epic proportions (seriously–these burgers are GIANT).

I sneak away and ask the waiter if they do anything for birthdays.

He replies no, shaking his head, that they do not do anything. Bummer! But, we continue our meal, experience great service from the waiter and enjoy every bite.

At the end of the meal, the waiter with a giant smile on his face, comes over to our table carrying a bowl full of whipped cream and one lit birthday candle. He places it in front of my boyfriend and wishes him a happy birthday. I then begin to sing but that ended quickly to spare my boyfriend the embarrassment. He makes a wish and blows out the candle and I make an attempt to throw whipped cream on his face. Again, that ended quickly!

However, I did think that this small attempt by our waiter to bring us this surprise was actually pretty large.

In customer service, there will always be things that we cannot do. Things we don’t have access to. Policy we must follow. But, despite that, there are always creative work arounds. This waiter wasn’t allowed to give any free food for birthdays so he whipped up a simple, free thing to enhance our experience (it made for lots of laughs). (I am still curious why they even had birthday candles in the first place when they said they don’t do anything, though).

3 Quick Ways to Whip Up Creative Customer Service

  • CAN vs. Can’t

So, you can’t give any free desserts for birthdays at your restaurant. Focus on what you CAN do versus what you CANNOT do. You can fill a bowl of whipped cream, which costs pennies, and throw a candle in it. You can waive a fee that your customer may have to pay, even if it’s not related to their issue. You can check up on your customer via email and phone to make sure they feel they are taken care of. What else can you do?

  • Creative Collaboration

Not sure about what you can do, especially when policy is involved? Ask a team member, supervisor or manager for insight. Opening the doors to creative collaboration may lead to an awesome customer experience that you never imagined.

  •  What Would YOU Want?

Think about what you would want if you were in the situation. Jot down your vision for the perfect resolution that would make YOU satisfied. Then, work through this to try to make it happen for the customer. What do you need to do to get this done?


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