sly : marketing

I expected an apology


If you’ve been following my journey for more than one week, you already know how much I love pizza. I am not sure why, because it wasn’t intentionally, but, pizza is more than just a meal to me.

I have been on a vacation in Tuscany lately, and during one week, I was completely offline. It helped me relax and get some clarity into where I’m currently at in my life. It helped me look at my business in a different way, and get an overview of what I really want to be focusing on in the future.

To me, being offline, changes my perspective completely and it’s something I’ll be doing regularly from now on. Things are about to change, but even though I’ve been to Italy and I’ve been eating pizza close to every single day, I just had to order pizza as soon as I got back home to Norway.

The pizza delivery guy

A few years ago, a pizza delivery guy gave me a ride home, and that really opened my eyes to the importance of customer service. It wasn’t part of his job description, not at all. But, driving me home, created a much stronger relationship between the restaurant and me. The pizza isn’t the cheapest, and it doesn’t taste better than in other local restaurants, but I’m still a loyal customer.

Well, I am as close to loyal as it gets, because I always test new restaurants if they serve pizza. And, a few days ago, I received information about a new pizza place not that far away from where I live.

The new restaurant and the mistake

My wife ordered some take away pizza for my family and some distant relatives. I drove to the restaurant to get the pizza. And, picture it – I was smiling as I was driving, looking forward to taste a new pizza.

I hadn’t talked to my wife about what she had ordered, so I had no idea, when I got back home, that I was missing a pizza. I probably should have counted them. But, I was too occupied with smiling and smelling the wonderful smell of fresh pizza.

My wife called the restaurant and asked for the pizza. They told her that they had forgotten all about it. They could have told her that it wasn’t their fault, that she hadn’t ordered it. But they didnt. Finally, 20 minutes later, I entered the restaurant again, and I was curious to what type of reaction I would get. To me, handling mistakes, is one of the most important parts of customer service, and it is a vital part of marketing.

I would have paid for the missing pizza. I am not sure what I expected, probably just an apology. What I did get, was the apology, and free pizza, from a man that was really sorry about what had happened.

Turning mistakes into happiness

I am always looking for a way to turn mistakes into smiles. And, that’s exactly what happened. Free, might be the easiest way, but it still works.

7 responses to “I expected an apology”

  1. Lisa Buben says:

    Jens, amazing how companies can turn something bad into something good and keep a customer maybe for a lifetime. Pizza looks good!

  2. Jeevan Jacob John says:

    Business owners should all be willing to take responsibility for their mistakes, and correct those mistakes. Look at what they got in return. Sure, it costed them a pizza, but they got a loyal customer, didn’t they? 😀

    It shows us the power of customer experience. Thank you for reminding me of that power, Jens. This is very useful, especially since I am in the planning phase of my upcoming blog 😀

    • Hi Jeevan,

      Usually, if they take responsibility for their mistakes and try hard to make the experience even better than it could have been in the first place, they’ll create an even stronger relationship with the customer. This means that they’ll have a customer for life, and a person who’ll start promoting their business as well. It’s hard to measure the value of this in money.

  3. Adrienne says:

    I sure hope that the pizza was good too Jens because knowing you they probably have just picked up yet another loyal customer.

    Wow, Italy… I bet it’s beautiful and you got plenty of pictures. I’ve never been to Italy but it’s someplace I’d love to visit. I’m so glad you had a great time but I sure have missed seeing you online. I know you were vacationing in your tent and then you had the festival to handle. You’ve just really been a busy guy Jens but as long as you’re happy that’s all that really matters.

    Thanks for sharing your story with us.


  4. Wayne Rodden says:

    excellent read Jen,

    It just goes to show you that kindness & honesty is always the best policy and I think both played a big part in this scenario.

    Now! I’m hungry… and i think I might have an Hawaiian pizza in the freeze,


  5. Carolyn says:

    Such a great story, Jens! Much better than the one about your daughter spilling her $20 Fanta and the restaurant charging you for another drink. Customer service is truly an investment in customer satisfaction. It’s much easier to retain a customer than try to get a new one.

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