Tuesday, March 13, 2007

How much is too much?

This weekend Angie, Cassie and I went to eat at Chili's. Angie allowed me to choose (we usually go where she wants to go, and that means Mexican) and I was hankering for some ribs...

We don't expect the greatest service when we go to Chili's, just a pleasant comfortable meal. The kids love going there, so we do every so often.

However, on this trip, things were a little different. Our waiter Danny must have visited our table to ask "Y'all doing ok?" and "How you guys doing?" perhaps 20 times during our meal. In fact, he came so often that it became somewhat intrusive. Add to this the fact that the manager came over at least three times, we were a bit annoyed.

That leads to the question...is it right to get annoyed at too much customer service? I think there is a point where caring about the customer experience can be overdone. Danny's constant inquiries about how we were doing actually felt automated and uncaring. We joked about it during the meal, and it didn't bother us in a significant way, but I did say to Angie during the meal - "if he asks me how I'm doing again, I'm going to tell him that there hasn't been enough time since the last time he asked for anything to have changed."

Does anyone have an experience like ours? Anytime someone seemed to just go way overboard with their customer service? I've been in service (technical support) for over a decade and I didn't think it possible to over service a customer. That do you think? I'd like to know.


1 comment:

Michele said...

Funny, we were talking about that at work the other nite after a job. Our waitstaff seems to get many many compliments regarding their attentiveness. We do however get almost as many complaints! They are toooo good!! They are too attentive! They pick up drinks or clear away plates before the person has had a chance to finish, they are constantly going over to see if there is anything else the client needs, and they seem to hover around the tables not giving some of the clients the privacy or space that is wanted. My boss, the proprietor of the catering hall states he would rather have those complaints than those that say the waitstaff was ignoring the client, shirking off their duties or even looking bored and unattentive. Personally I would rather have too much Good service than too much Bad service. On a personal note- I complained to the manager at TGIF's last weekend when I felt the bartenders were completely ignoring my friend and I. Even after asking for a menu to order an appetizer at the bar, we were never asked if we wanted to order something, yet the menu was removed. The manager was completely apologetic and I was definitely more understanding. I can sympathize with your quandry of too much service and with my own too little. There must be a happy medium somewhere. Just remember your tip will definitely convey to the staff how your experience was. Not only do I complain when I feel service was not as good as it should have been but I do email or stop by to speak with the manager to commend them on excellent service. Speak up bro! You are a New Yawka....you're allowed to be outspoken, just do so in gentle (Texan) way. If you dont say something good or bad, nothing will change.