The Fine Art of Being “Rough” to the Customer

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Customers always expect the best service quality possible for their money. Business owners are constantly trying to provide great and gentle customer care, as to the F&B area as well. However, the other style in which customers are treated “roughly” is also worth mentioning. Customers are called out for their poor behavior, are challenged after they submit feedback, are told where to sit rather than given a choice, and often have to wait for ages in long lines before they get anywhere, be it at the airport or at a store.

But how can such businesses still remain in business or have so many loyal customers?

The similarities between those types of businesses are their speciality and the exceptional quality of their product. Without that factor, they wouldn’t be able to survive a day with the type of service they offer. They choose to be product providers over service providers. They often have the best noodle soup in town, the only original, traditional cake in the region, the unforgettable mixed drink made with secret ingredients, or something people hardly find anywhere else.

However, is the taste really the only important factor in getting customers in the F&B area nowadays? No, certainly not.

People are starting to demand more and more; they want the best food they’ve ever eaten and at the same time want to be greeted with a smile as soon as they walk in. They require quick service and someone always able to be at their beck and call.  To put it simply, customers would like to be appreciated every time they’re paying for something. Therefore, there has to be some kind of fine art in the way being “rough” to customers. It’s obvious that this specific style of service is more abundant among small, or family-owned local businesses instead of chain or franchise restaurants. It’s not easy to offer such poor customer service but still retain satisfied customers at the same time.

But why is that?

Let’s take a closer look at the owners who shout at their staff in front of the guests everyday. If it were to happen at a high-end restaurant, the customers would leave for good and at once due to the disrespectful behavior. However, anyone coming to a family-owned restaurant for their special soup will have a much higher tolerance for unprofessional behavior. Even though they hear the yelling matches, they’re listening with a smile, because they know it’s between father & son and not between manager & employee. The yelling isn’t focused on making one person feel bad about themselves, it’s more to teach. In these types of locations, “Wait!” is often what a customer hears when they ask for something instead of the customary “We’ll be right with you!” in a more luxurious atmosphere. Yes, it’s rude, but they will get around to taking your order some time. However, him remembering your favorite meals and special wishes is worth much more than having him take your order right away. Him chatting with you about your favorite football team or telling you those stories about his family and neighbors is also more important than being polite. In order to remember all of this and stay communicative with customers, he must be very attentive and passionate about his work, which is exactly what family-owned business owners are about.

It’s not something you can learn or practice; it’s a trait you adopt when you put so much work into something every day.

Their roughness is never the same and the way they treat their customers is constantly changing. At the end of it all, they know exactly what their product is worth to their customers to keep them coming back. Maybe it’s to feel the special taste, to be in that special environment, or to be treated like a part of the family. In that case, that shouting owner, the one sharing his issues and problems, laughing with you, or giving you that special offer, is exactly what makes your visit feel good. It’s much better than the feeling you have when you step into an elegant coffee shop where your order is taken right away, your bill is brought right to your table, and the smile of a beautiful waitress welcomes you as you walk through the door, because you know that they did the exact same for the last guest, just as they will for the guest coming in after you.

How you feel in that coffee shop is sufficient for the moment, but not in the long run, because it’s aimed at pleasing mass audiences instead of recognizing specific people.

The yelling man will stand out from all of the other places his customers visit daily, which makes his roughness a special treat, as it makes everything about him, your visit, and his product absolutely unique.

Author: Trang Le 

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The Fine Art of Being “Rough” to the Customer.


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