Bad Rules


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Recently I took my wife to one of St. Louis’s hottest new restaurants. This place is always busy and it is hard to get a reservation. On this particular Saturday night they were extremely busy. On our way out I told my wife to stay in the restaurant, where it was warm, while I went outside to give the parking attendant the ticket to get our car. I then wanted to go back inside to wait with my wife while the valet went to get the car. One problem. The doorman wouldn’t let me back in the restaurant. The manager had decided that it was too crowded in the restaurant, so no one would be allowed in until people had left.

I pleaded with the “guard” at the door that I had just came out to give my ticket to the valet parking attendant and that my wife was waiting inside for me to get her. I even tried to get him to look at my credit card receipt. His response, “I’m just doing what they (the management) told me to do.”

I told him that was ridiculous. Eventually my car arrived and my wife, being far more intelligent than the guy guarding the door, knew to come outside. As we drove away I told her the story. It was so ridiculous, that we actually had a bit of a laugh over it.

A couple of thoughts… First, I knew why the management of the restaurant had made the request not to let more people into the restaurant. So did the guy guarding the door. The place was crowded.

Second, did management ever think that my particular situation would happen? Probably not. I’m not referring to me walking out to get my car and wanting to go back in to get my wife. I’m referring to management ever thinking that the doorman might take the request so literally that they wouldn’t let customers back in.

Do you or your company have rules and policies that customers might think of as dumb, ridiculous or inconvenient? Do the people you work with understand the concept of the rules and policies, or can they be misunderstood to a point of ruining a customer’s experience? Put another way…

What have you done to get in the way of success?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Shep Hyken
Shep Hyken, CSP, CPAE is the Chief Amazement Officer of Shepard Presentations. As a customer service speaker and expert, Shep works with companies who want to build loyal relationships with their customers and employees. He is a hall of fame speaker (National Speakers Association) and a New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-selling author.


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