Guest blog from Carol Ritter of CarolTalks.com
While on vacation, I stopped with friends into a wonderful little local restaurant. They serve clams, burgers, over the top chicken salad with grapes and, of course, the staple at the beach CRABCAKES! It was crowded and we were patiently looking forward to a fun lunch together. The ice tea arrived and the waiter indicated our food would be here soon.. The anticipated orders started to arrive. I ordered a caesar salad with the chicken salad on top. He delivered a bowl of lettuce with caesar dressing on the side. Still patient! I said, "Excuse me, I ordered chicken salad." He replied, "I'll get it right away." Seriously, it arrived in 10 seconds. It was delicious so I was willing to overlook the issues. We all chipped in for lunch and my friend said he would charge it. He handed the credit card and a few minutes later the waiter came back to announce “your credit card was declined.... “TWICE”! EMBARRASSING -- SHOCKING -- HUMILIATING -- especially when you have excellent credit. He got on the phone with the credit card company and his number was in a bank of stolen numbers and they shut down the card immediately after confirming the other charges.
How could the waiter have handled this situation better?
1. He could have said “must be something wrong with the strip on your card, it’s not going through”
2. He could have gone to his side of the table and told him quietly, we were so busy talking we could not have noticed
3. He could have thrown the blame on the credit card machine and given him the benefit of the doubt
4. He could have just said “I’m sorry, but there must be a mistake the card would not go through
5. He could have softened the blow with a little more TLC!
Thank goodness, credit card companies are saving us from card theft, however, they could have called my friend first and told him this was happening instead of shutting down the card without notice. I've heard the customer is always right, well, I actually believe that and live by it. The next time your customer has an issue, give them the benefit of the doubt or you might be the one who is embarrassed, shocked and humiliated.