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A poor customer experience almost ruined Mother’s Day brunch 🙃

Last weekend, my wife picked out a nice family meal take-out box. I placed an online order on Saturday night and received a confirmation email and order number.

The whole family (including our dog) was on a Sunday morning outing, so we went together to pick up the order, which was due at noon.

With everyone waiting in the parked car, I walked up to the restaurant. They had a table outside to receive dine-in customers and handle take-out orders.

I gave my name and waited about ten minutes.

A staff member came outside to tell me she didn’t see my order in the system.

She went back in to check.

Out she came and still no order.

I showed her the email confirmation, which listed my order details and confirmation number.

In she went again, but no luck.

Another ten minutes later and the puzzle started getting pieced together.

The restaurant uses a third party ordering system on their website. They could void my original order and start preparing the food now.

According to the staff member, I’d get a free meal 🙌

Meanwhile, my family was baking in a parked car for close to 30 minutes. They'd have to continue waiting for the food to be made.

I returned to the car and we hatched a plan. I’d drop them back home, then come back out to pick up the free meal.

The staff member was wrong, though. They couldn’t void the order. A member of the kitchen staff came out to tell me that they could start the meal now and throw in some extra items at no cost.

He said that the restaurant manager hadn’t set up a process to check the third-party ordering system.

In the end, we got our food and had our Mother’s Day lunch.

A typical response would be to get frustrated at the two staff members. How could they provide such poor customer service?

But what happened was out of their control. It was the fault of the system -- namely, the manager who didn't set up a process to handle orders from the third-party system.

Sure, the first staff member shouldn’t have told me the meal would be free, but perhaps that was a training issue.

I saw a similar issue with a B2B vendor recently.

Our team was frustrated at how the vendor couldn’t answer basic questions we had.

Like the restaurant situation, though, this wasn’t her fault. She was new to the job and it seemed like the founder of the company threw her into the mix without adequate training.

The lesson here?

Organizations who expect employees to provide an excellent customer experience must put those employees in a position to succeed.

Without that, a poor experience makes it painful on both your customers and your employees.


Around the Corner
Congrats, Cathy McPhillips

Good friend Cathy McPhillips joined Marketing AI Institute this week as chief growth officer. Congrats, Cathy!

Photo of Cathy McPhillips from LinkedIn.

Cathy was nice enough to answer a few questions via email.

Tell us about your new role?

I'll be focused on aligning all departments (marketing, sales and customer service) around consistent and sustained revenue growth.

I will be looking for partnerships, building community, and doing a lot of listening and learning.

As a customer of Marketing AI Academy, I bring that perspective that may offer some value to the team. It's a fast-moving group - I love it!

Note: Marketing AI Academy is an online education platform from Marketing AI Institute.

Where’s the biggest potential for AI in Marketing?

I think the biggest potential is in front of all of us - it's the things we're already doing, tinkering with, or wanting to try - but don't have a strategy behind.

If marketers invested time to identify the parts of their jobs that took the most time, there's likely an AI solution to help. We just need to slow down in order to speed up.

Will we see you at Content Marketing World this Fall?

I wouldn't miss Content Marketing World! It's the greatest content marketing event on the planet. I think my code MCPHILLIPS100 will still work too, if you want to save $100!

Follow Cathy on Twitter: @cmcphillips.

Learn more about Marketing AI Institute:
Next Meetup
How to Create an Online Course to Support Your Business

Presenter: Kami Huyse, CEO of Zoetica Media, a digital marketing and public relations agency.

Adding an online course to your offerings can help to boost the bottom line for your agency and keep your employees fully billed and engaged.

Learn how one agency increased its bottom line by 25% in a pandemic year, and how you can do it for your own agency.

In this session we will go step-by-step though how your agency can add online training into its offerings and diversify your income stream.

We will share how we did it in 2020 and added an income stream that can help you to have a more balanced product suite for your agency.


May 20, 2021, 12:00 to 12:30pm PT



Note: Thanks to our sponsors, Hushly, TalendToTheWeb and Treasure Data.
Twitter Corner
In each newsletter, I recommend a Twitter user to follow.
This week, I recommend Liat Karpel Gurwicz (@LiatKarpel).

Liat is on the marketing team for the Wix eCommerce platform, based in Israel.

According to Liat's Twitter profile, "Apparently my passion for online shopping is also my job."

Liat presented recently at the Bay Area Content Marketing Meetup.

Watch the recording of her talk.
Willie's Corner
Happy belated (90th) birthday to Willie Mays!

Friend Rich Schwerin had a chance to meet Mr. Mays at Spring Training, while Rich was on assignment for Oracle:

For a full-sized photo, check out Rich's tweet.

San Francisco Giants fans might notice Giants' President and CEO Larry Baer in this photo.
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