Sunday, June 8, 2008

First of all let me say “I'm sorry”. I'm sorry for taking so long between posts and I promise I'll try to do better and post more frequently. Even if my posts are short I'll try to make them more regularly. There, now I feel a little better.

On my last post I had a comment from someone who asked a question which I will paraphrase. Why would you want to ask for something, rock the boat and risk being labeled a whiner? Well first of all let me say that if you're worried about being labeled a “whiner” then what I'm talking about might not be for you. I've talked to several people in different service industries and I've come to the conclusion that while some people might call you the “W” word, most people, especially the owners of these businesses want you to be satisfied. They want happy customers because happy customers are repeat customers. Let's face it, you're going to talk about your experience to other people. It doesn't matter whether you had a good experience or a bad one, you're going to talk about it and if you were a business owner wouldn't you want to have people making positive comments about your business. As they say, word of mouth is the best kind of advertising.

The other aspect of this is that if every time you have a bad experience you simply go someplace else the next time you might just run out of places to go because let's face it, this is not a perfect world and sooner or later everyone makes a mistake.

So what's my point? There's a difference between whining and asking to have things made right so you can be a satisfied customer. Get over it! Don't worry about being labeled a whiner. Businesses want your comments otherwise they wouldn't run surveys all of the time. And finally, if you just can't get past it and no matter what you're going to worry about being called a whiner then maybe you are a whiner and “All you have to do is ask” might just not be for you.


First Steps

Thursday, January 31, 2008

When I first embarked on my “All You Have To Do Is Ask” journey I was very timid. I learned very early on that it helps to take small steps. The first hurdle that I had to overcome was that it's okay to get what you want. Let me explain, I like to eat meat, I'm a carnivore. When I order a steak I like it to have a warm pink center and I like it to me juicy. If you're a steak eater you'll probably recognize this as being cooked to medium to medium rare. Other folks I know like their's cool, pink and mooing. I also know those who want theirs to look like a meteorite that just entered the atmosphere, burnt to a crisp.

About now you're asking yourself “what does this have to do with anything”? My point is that we're all individuals and that our tastes are all different, and that's the way it should be. If everyone wanted things the same way that would be just plain boring. It's our differences that make life interesting. So if you like your steak cooked medium then why should you be expected to eat one that was cooked well done? You're not! Restaurants are in the business of catering to their customers desires. They want people to be happy because when a customer is satisfied they come back (and sometimes they even bring other people with them). Remember, a happy customer is someone who comes back and tips well.

So now it's time for your homework assignment. Next time you go out to eat and something is not quite the way you would like it, take the following steps:

  • It a pleasant and respectful manner let your server know what is wrong.

  • Ask them to correct it.

  • Also ask to speak to the manager.

  • If your server does a good job and corrects the problem let the manager know what a good job the server has done.

  • If the server hasn't dome a good job, let the manager know what the problem is and ask them to solve the problem.

  • Finally, remember that the server is not responsible for the quality of the food but they are responsible for the service you receive. If the server has provided good service tip them well regardless of whether the food was good or not

If you need assistance figuring out what to tip the Original Tipping Page can give you some guidance.

Finally, remember, it's okay to expect to get what you order and to get it “All You Have To Do Is Ask”!



Friday, January 25, 2008

Are you one of those people who doesn't like to rock the boat? When you go to dinner and order a steak cooked medium, but it gets to your table well done, do you say something about it, or do you just eat it anyway? Do you think "I don't want to bother anyone" or "Why should I get any special treatment"? If this sounds just like you then you're not alone. In fact most people just are like you. We've been taught not to stick out, to be polite and not cause trouble; we're uncomfortable when there might be any kind of confrontation. We decide to sit there quietly and eat our burned steak rather than tell the waiter that something is wrong. After all, the cooks will probably just spit on it if we send it back.

I was once like that, but then I met someone who was different, he ended up being my best friend and over the last 15 years he's taught me that it's ok to "Just ask, all they can do is say no". I've learned that it's not unreasonable to expect to get that steak cooked "medium" if that's the way I want it. After all I'm the one paying for it so I should be able to get it that way. And you know what? The restaurants want you to get it the way you want it. The restaurant would rather have a happy customer than one that won't come back because of a poor experience.

So what's this blog about? It's about realizing that it's ok to just ask. To help you on your journey, I'll share some tips to help build give you the confidence to "just ask" and I'll also some true stories of "asking" success. Remember, sometimes they'll say no but a lot of times the answer will be "YES".

So next time that steak is not cooked right, go ahead ask for something, if they don't want to give it to you what's the worst thing that can happen? All they can do is say no! Remember, all you have to do is ask!