Pizza Anyone?

Recently, my husband called and placed an order for pizza. A few minutes after hanging up the phone, he realized that he’d ordered regular crust instead of thin crust for one of the pies. So he called back to see if he could change the order. The conversation went something like this:

Pizza store employee: Name of pizza company (Yes, I am protecting the guilty. There was no thank you for calling, no offer of assistance, just the name of the store)
Chad: Hi. My name is Chad Barkman and I called just a few minutes ago.  I ordered the wrong type of crust on one of the pizzas. Can I change my order?”
Pizza store employee:   (After a few moments of silence) Actually sir, you called 5 minutes and 14 seconds ago.  Your pizza is already in the oven.  We can’t change it.

Here’s another scenario.  Debbie needed to order pizzas so she went on-line to Papa Johns and placed her order.  Forty minutes later two cheese pizzas were delivered. The problem … she hadn’t ordered two cheese pizzas. So Debbie called to let them know an error had been made.  Here’s how that conversation went:

Papa John’s employee:  Thank you for calling Papa John’s.  How may I help you?
Debbie:  The pizza I ordered just arrived and it’s wrong.  I got two cheese pizzas instead of one cheese and one pepperoni & cheese.
Papa John’s employee:  I’m sorry to hear that.  How did you place the order?
Debbie: I placed the order on-line
Papa John’s employee:: Thank you. Yes, I see your order here. I’m sorry you didn’t receive the pizza you wanted. Would you like to us to deliver a pepperoni pizza or would you prefer a credit?”

Debbie opted for the credit.  Later, after her guests  left, Debbie opened up her email. She read the email from Papa John’s confirming her order, and realized she had ordered two cheese pizzas.  She had made the mistake, not Papa John’s.  The lady answering the phone on the other end knew she’d made the mistake. After all, she found Debbie’s order.  Instead of arguing with Debbie and proving they hadn’t made the mistake, she apologized for the disappointment and offered a solution.

In both situations, the customer made a mistake. They placed the wrong order, but in the second scenario, the company focused on customer satisfaction, instead of being right.  There are times customers are unhappy because they made the mistake. Sometimes they know it; sometimes they don’t.  Either way, if you are really focused on winning, define winning as ‘finding a way to solve the problem and keep the customer coming back another day.’

Which is better for the bottom line? Being right or keeping a customer?  In the first scenario, being right saved the company the  cost of one pizza, but it lost all the many pizza orders to come.  Not much of a win.