He chose…poorly

If you have a poor experience at a business, what do you do? What would you LIKE to do? What do you think you SHOULD do? This has come up in conversation recently. My position is: it’s okay to bring problems to the attention of the business owner (even through his employees), so that the business improves. If the business improves, theoretically, service will be better, more customers will return, and the business will thrive. If the business thrives then, again theoretically, the boss will be happier, the staff will be happier, and maybe they’ll even get paid more or new benefits. Now it could be the business owner doesn’t care, and that’s up to him. It could be the boss is a jerk and he won’t share returns. However, if it’s a business I know nothing about, I give it the benefit of the doubt. My policy on WalMart and Chapters is not a secret – the company has bad business practices and I don’t go there. Likewise, if I find out that the management of a café never gives good employees raises and screws them on their shifts, I have no compunction about boycotting said café. However, I don’t think that a business hands out comment cards as an excuse to fire their wait staff. I don’t have the point of view that every boss is a jerk and exploits his/her workers, although I am sure there are many out there. I base my actions as if I am the business owner. I would want to know what the majority of my customers like and don’t like about my business. I would keep in mind that there are some people that you can never please. I would understand that everyone has bad days. In my world, people who do a good job are rewarded, and people who do poorly are replaced. Is that naïve? If I don’t like an experience in a restaurant or store, should I keep my mouth shut, avoid rocking the boat, and try to find somewhere else to spend my money? What’s your take?

Thank you Bohn Jurton, for bringing this to my attention: http://www.beyondrobson.com/city/2006/02/mutiny_at_the_cafe/

2 Replies to “He chose…poorly”

  1. If you have a poor experience at any business, you should speak up. To avoid rocking the boat benefits nobody. If you do speak up about a problem, you should at least give the business your patronage one final time, a few months down the road, to see if the problem has changed. Given that the original problem wasn’t huge, like finding a snot on your burger, in which case you speak up and never give them your patronage again. Burger snot is an insurmountable problem.

  2. When I was younger, I just boycotted at the drop of a hat. I’m older now and I understand that there are many extenuating circumstances involving poor experiences in business as well as life in general.

    Now I mention problems to as employee or manager. If the employee is the problem, I’ll talk to the manager. Some problems are easy to fix and staff may not be aware of it. I think everyone should get a shot at redemption. Everyone has a bad day or gets caught up in unexpected situations that they may not be aware of/able to control. If the place messes up again, then I walk. There are few things in life I can do without.

Comments are closed.