No Soup for Salad: A Lesson in Customer Service

soupWe went out to dinner last week after helping pack meals for Feed My Starving Children. (It was ironic after looking at the pictures of malnourished children.)
A special on the menu caught my eye—mini pot pie, salad and dessert. I asked our server if I could substitute soup for the salad and was told that wouldn’t be a problem.
Ten minutes later the server returned saying the manager had informed him that the substitution couldn’t be made. I’m afraid the business owner part of me reared up.
“Do you know what I’d do if one of my employees promised something to our client and then returned to say it couldn’t be done?” I asked my dining companions. Yes, there was some eye-rolling at the table. “I’d make it happen for that client and then train the employee better.”
I fixed my eyes on the server and said nothing more. He quietly said, “I’ll bring the salad and send someone else out with the soup later.” And that’s what he did.
Did I speak out of place? I hope my comment made it clear that the manager, not the server was at fault. I did not talk to the manager because I didn’t want to get the server in trouble. How are employees supposed to learn if no one tells them?
I hope Tembua’s clients will tell us—will tell me—if something is wrong or doesn’t meet their expectations. My goal is to have clear procedures in place that everyone can follow, every time. If you can help us find a hole in those procedures and fix something, I’d be grateful!

Patricia J. May, CEO


About tembua

Tembua: The Precision Language Solution provides comprehensive linguistic services for 100 languages to private industry and government agencies on a global scale. Services include document and website translation and localization; conference and 24/7 telephonic interpretation; glossary development; proofreading, text adaptation, editing, multilingual design and DTP; transcription; technical / custom authoring editing, foreign search engine optimization; translation memory management; subtitling.
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