Friday, June 27, 2008

a customer's plea

A recent event at a restaurant coerced me to react to it at the best way possible. And what could I managed to do was to get the mail id of the VP of the hotel chain, and mail her. Here it goes, the snippet served from my mail..

Respected madam,

Being a true connoisseur of food, it is not less than a dozen times that I have visited the Indijoe restaurant on Airport Road here in Bangalore, in the last one to two year span of time. The food, ambience, service and just about everything: the whole experience, I felt, was no less than excellent. And, it was a happy news for me to know that a new Indijoe has opened up on the Old Madras Rd, at a walk-able distance from my home. And last week I decided to give it a try.

At the first look the ambience was at par with the other Indijoe. And the man in charge there, came and asked if he can help me. I said I wanted a table for a person. He pointed me over to the bar table counter, and when I said I was there to have food also, not just drinks, he said they don't have tables for individuals. Pardon me, but I just wondered if I had walked into a road side dhaba! If he had told me that there is no two-seater table available, and I'd have to wait for a while, I would have understood. But this was way too much for me.

I have traveled across a lot of places, dined right from the road side restaurants to the five and seven star hotels like Taj and Leela. This was the first time I had come across an experience of this sort- literally, getting thrown out of a restaurant, for being single. I have seen hotels saying 'dogs not allowed', but, 'singles not allowed'- this has to be a new trend! If it had been a discotheque or a place like that, allowing no stag entry, I could have understood. All this man wanted was, me to have one more person, if I need a table; and what was I to do- wait outside the restaurant, for some unlucky customer like me who gets thrown out eventually, and pair up with him for a table?

I am not flaming, or even trying to play a blame game here. All I want to put across is, how a customer like me who "used to" adore Indijoe, gets totally annoyed and irritated by an incident like this, and having to walk out and search for another place to eat(luckily here in Bangalore, good restaurants are, for your kind information, not hard to find). Every time we friends had parties, treats and such get-together occasions, I used to suggest Indijoe as the best place to go for. What this person, who threw me out forgot is that an individual coming to a restaurant one time, is the one who is going to bring along a whole family the next time, provided the atmosphere is enchanting and not annoying!!

Sorry for such a long mail. But I was just trying to point out the feeling of a customer without loosing on the emotions behind the words. I believe you value each and every customer (over a pack of them who might be shelling in a couple of more bucks) and keep Indijoe as nice as it used to be, keeping with the reputation of the BJN group. I request you to do the needful. And just in case, if there is any need to contact me over a phone, my number would be: xxxxxxx

Thank you for you time.

To my surprise, she responded, the same day. And here it goes..

Dear Mr. Jagadeesh,

Thank you for taking the trouble of writing this mail.

It is very distressing and disturbing for me to hear that one of our manager's has behaved in such an unprofessional manner.

Please accept my sincere apologies and be rest assured, I will personally take this matter up very strongly with the team. Please do not hold this one incident against us. I assure you, you will not be disappointed.

My number is xxxxxx. Please feel free to call me for any assistance.

Vice President (Operations)

If you ask me what did I gain from spending my time on this behalf is expressing the power of a customer. And I do respect every concern and company that do take care of customers, they are, people who really knows how to handle the business. And the gist of the post is not a black mark in any way against Indijoe, or the BJN group, but on the contrary, my respect for a VP who finds time to come down to a customer's level to address an issue.

For me, it is a rebellion sought (not exactly, but for the rhyme), fought and got!


Rukhiya said...

Ah! Indijoe at airport road, I know, Didnt know they had one at old madras road too. And for the post, the world needs both the kind of people here, the voice and the response, each without another is incomplete.

Aruna said...

hmmm, a display of rebellion, more rather for a cause...nice :)

Sashu... said...

uh-uh-oh!! disappointed, i am! indijoe of all places?!? sigh!! nywz a good mail n a better response! needta appreciate dat!

Macadamia The Nut said...

I'm SO glad you wrote to her!
Some people just dont understand the importance of customer service

Scribbler said...

Bravo Buddy!!

keep it rollin;)

Muse said...

I salute your responsible spirit!!!

"fought and got"-sometimes that's the key:)