Topic: Subject: A No-Good, Very BAD, Experience!
Location: Zipp’s Grill, Arcadia
On Saturday October 24, 2015, at approximately 6:25pm (Attachment A), I (Katherine Perini) entered the Zipp’s Grill, located at, 3647 East Indian School Road in Phoenix Arizona, with Kimberly (Kim) Smith. Janet Granillo, Jon Johnson and Margaret (Maggie) Perini, were already seated at a table top for eight; as this was a surprise for Kim’s birthday. Our waitress Youlanda greeted us immediately, engaged us socially and professionally, brought us water and took our order which is as follows:
• 2, Zipparita Chambord’s – for Katie and Kim
• 1, Zipparita Add Midori – for Janet
• 1, 32 Ounce Blue Moon – for Jon
• Maggie did not place a drink order and drank water
o Side note: Youlanda, in the kindest way possible, requested our identification to confirm birthdate and because of her delivery we happily obliged.
Kim is a Bar Manager – Required to request identification on a consistent basis
Janet is a Reports Analyst for a Major Retailer
Maggie is a Customer Experience Analyst for a Nationwide Bank with Global Markets
Leslie Ewing is an Accounts Manager for the Arizona Education system
Jon is a supervisor for a local, well known, auto detailing company
I am a Senior Manager with a Major Retailer (same company as Janet). I am directly responsible for 125-150 (fluctuates seasonally) customer service Managers, Supervisors and associates.
• Justification that we are a fiscally responsible, educated group of individuals that deal with customer service issues (both in person, statistically and over the phone) on a consistent basis.
• We understand and appreciate Youlanda’s outstanding Customer Service and ability to connect with the customer while requesting information that not all customers are comfortable with presenting.
o Additionally, we engaged her in a social exchange that asked how long she had been with Zipp’s, and she gave us her short history (in essence, new employee). She was very nice. (I hope she reads this and remembers our table exchange regarding age, looking good for our age and thankful we have good looking mom’s).
In the interim of ordering and drink delivery, Kim opened birthday presents and Leslie Ewing joined us for dinner and drinks (we are still expecting two more people at this time). There was a glass of water waiting for Leslie, Kim finished opening her gifts, and Yolanda returned and served us our actual drink order. Yolanda greeted and asked if Leslie would like to order, however, Leslie deferred at the moment as she had yet to view the menu. Yolanda said she would be back, and we proceeded to chat and begin drinking our ordered, alcoholic beverages.
Kim and I ordered the same drink, however they visually appeared different (Attachment B). Upon consumption, Kim’s Zipparita was too sweet, my Zipparita did not have a sweetness and tasted like a traditional Zipparita (sans the Chambord). Kim and I swapped drinks for a taste test and agreed that mine was normal, whereas Kim’s drink, contained Chambord as ordered and we decided to switch beverages. I waived/flagged down Youlanda to explain that, Kim’s Zipparita was different than my own, even though we ordered the same item. Kim’s Zipparita was dark pink whereas mine was not, and Kim’s Zipparita tasted very sweet and my Zipparita tasted traditional. I requested that Youlanda remove the charge for the added Chambord from our bill and charge us for a plain Zipparita.
I was previously (this is my local Zipp’s location) told that Chambord is an additional charge to the traditional Zipparita (It is a specialty drink). Yolanda apologized and asked if Kim would like a brand new Zipparita? Kim said no thank you, I’ll just drink hers (gesturing to myself); Yolanda was very kind and departed the table.
• Sidenote: As a group we were prepared to enjoy alcoholic beverages, eat and converse. I knew that we would order additional beverages. In the event we ordered “the same thing”, I wanted to ensure that Kim (Birthday Customer) would not be ordering (and I would not be paying for) a Chambord Zipparita’s; She preferred the Chambord Zipparita (sans Chambord) in question. (Kim’s dinner/drinks were a part of her gift from the table).
A few minutes later (speculation on timing), Yolanda returned and stated that she would need to take Kim’s drink, (my original drink), and pour her a brand new Zipparita (sans Chambord). Kim said it’s fine, I can just drink it, I don’t need a new one, and Yolanda explained she would need to replace the drink (that is para-phrasing, Yolanda was very nice throughout the entire ordeal).
When Yolanda returned she brought Kim the new Zipparita and asked if we were ready to order. As we were still waiting on friends, we declined and Yolanda said she would check on us, and keep her eye out for our guests. We resumed conversation, however, a few minutes later (speculation on timing), Yolanda returned with the Zipparita she had previously removed, and said, she needed to leave it at our table. We told Yolanda okay, whatever, and upon her leaving we discussed how “weird” that was, but continued conversing. The drink was placed at the corner of our table between, the two seats that were unoccupied (our additional guests had not yet joined).
Minutes later (speculation on timing), a gentleman (#G1) approached me at the table, and asked what the problem was with our Chambord Zipparita? I explained as follows:
• Kim’s Chambord Zipparita was too sweet.
• My Zipparita did not taste like it contained Chambord.
• We told Yolanda the situation and she brought us a new Zipparita.
o Sidenote: Kimberly (Kim) Smith is a Bar Manager for a chain of Sports Bars in the North West Valley. (A knowledgeable Mixologist)
asked why there was a Zipparita sitting at the end of our table? Again, I explained the bullet points above, however I added additional detail, which included the following:
• Kim offered to keep my original Zipparita and drink it.
• I was willing to drink the original Zipparita that contained Chambord.
• However, Yolanda said she was required to replace Kim’s Zipparita and also brought the original “Chambord” Zipparita (in question), back to our table.
asked again: Then what is that Zipparita there? (He gestured to the drink located between the empty seats at our table). I reiterated the second explanation and included the following:
• The only reason I told Yolanda the Zipparita did NOT have Chambord, was to remove the additional charge from my bill.
o Side note: This was the difference of a dollar or two.
then said that the bartender did add Chambord, and that we ordered 2 Chambord Zipparita’s and that’s what they brought us. I explained that YES, we did order two Chambord Zipparita’s however 1 of the 2 Zipparita’s, tasted VERY different from the other. As stated previously, my order of a Chambord Zipparita tasted like a regular Zipparita.
He again asked: If you ordered a Chambord Zipparita, and that’s what we brought you, why is there a drink sitting at the end of the table? My response: I don’t know, you tell me. His response: We brought you what you ordered. I then asked to speak to his manager.
• Side note: During the conversation with Gentleman #G1
, he remained standing at my backside. I turned my back to our table to speak with him. He was leaning on a chair, towards me (there was a respectable space barrier) to engage me in conversation.
• Side note 2: To diffuse an upset customer, get on “their level” both verbally and non-verbally. To tower over an individual is a non-verbal, aggressive/domineering stance.
Gentleman (#G2) approached the table, pulled out a chair, sat down to speak with me and said: “I understand there is a problem with your drink?”
• I explained that I was humiliated over this situation. That as a customer this was unbelievable to be arguing over the difference of a dollar.
• I was then forced to re-explain what had occurred as detailed above.
• Gentleman #G2
said, “There’s no need to yell”.
• Yell?” I asked. I told him I was mortified. Reiterated that I couldn’t believe this was happening over a dollar.
• He said that, he too was confused by the situation and needed clarification.
• I invited him to invite over Gentleman #G1
and Youlanda to explain.
• He said, I’m not going to do that.
• I said, there was a miscommunication between you and your staff. As the customer it’s not my responsibility to figure it out.
o AGAIN, over the difference of a dollar or two.
o I told him that we were there, to celebrate a birthday and we were expecting additional guests to join us.
o I told him that we even offered to drink the original drink (currently located on the table between the unoccupied seats).
o I told him again, that this was embarrassing and humiliating and I couldn’t believe this situation.
• He then said, how can we fix this situation?
• I said, you can let us leave and we will not be paying for the drinks.
• He said, I can’t let that happen.
• I said, I want to speak with your District Manager.
• He said, I can’t do that.
• I said, what can you do?
o At this point my sister Maggie interjected and said; this is ridiculous, just give us the bill.
• I said, I want both of your names (Gentleman #G1
and Gentleman #G2
), your District Managers name, and then I said: Get us the bill.
returns with the bill, AND it was for 2 Chambord Zipparita’s, 1 Zipparita Midori, 1 32 ounce Blue Moon AND 1 Zipparita. I immediately told him I would NOT be paying for the Zipparita.
• He asked, if I ordered the Zipparita?
• I said, if you want to use semantics, I’ll play along. NO, I did NOT order a traditional Zipparita.
• He asked, what did you order?
• I happily responded: Two Chambord Zipparita’s, a Midori Zipparita and a 32 ounce Blue Moon.
o Sidenote: I failed to photograph the original receipt. Please pull the POS (Point of Sale) records to reflect the addition and deletion of the 4th, unordered, Traditional Zipparita.
returned with our bill (sans the charge of the Traditional Zipparita) and provided me with business cards for: Kevin Stone, Cory Plepel and the handwritten name of Jason Seremals.
Youlanda took our Credit Card and profusely apologized for the situation. We all chimed in to explain that, it wasn’t her fault, and that we understand there was a great deal of confusion. She left the table and returned with our credit card slip for signature, which we provided. We also tipped Yolanda as she had been outstanding.
How will you rectify our Zipp’s Grill, Arcadia, experience?
(Phone number and Email under Separate Cover)************************************
Some words of wisdom:
• Always verbally and non-verbally bring yourself down to the customer’s level.
• Always ask fact finding questions of your staff, prior to engaging an upset/confused customer.
• Always remember to adhere to the following:
o Manager: (Insert customer name), I understand that have you have concerns about (insert brief description of concern), is that accurate?
This makes the customer think you are on their side. Additionally, it allows for open dialogue and will NOT make the customer repeat the situation again.
The customer will think you actually care about both sides of the story.
Additionally, this will re-instate faith in the customer, that your staff understood the problem but was unsure of how to resolve.
• Always remember to, “check your ego”, as your customer IS sometimes right.
o For example: I wanted to spend time with my friends and family, celebrate a birthday, drink, eat and clarify our drink order. I was hoping at some point to reach the maximum limit of Zipparita’s therefore it’s best to clarify before that happened.
• Always remain empathetic and understanding.
• Never stutter when engaging an articulate/upset/confused customer.
• Never show that you, as the manager, are confused by the information your staff provided.
o This can be viewed as a sign of weakness and is even more frustrating for the customer.
If you cannot communicate effectively with your staff, how can you understand my concerns as the customer?
• Never ask a customer what they expect as a resolution. As the manager, it’s your job to resolve AND rectify the situation to satisfy your customer and the business needs.
o If you do ask the customer what they expect: Then you better know what you’re willing to counter offer with!************************************
Attachment A: Photo taken prior to leaving the restaurant. Please note that drink on the Right, was the Chambord Zipparita in question. (FYI: Chambord is Purple in color and will become pink upon dilution).
• Attachment A2: We arrived at approximately 6:25pm and departed at approximately 7:15pm.
o Your register receipt is opened at 6:35pm and closed at 7:14pm.
o We stayed approximately 39 minutes.
o This photo was taken close to departure and the untouched, originally delivered Zipparita in question was slightly melted.#G1
: The first gentlemen that approached our table was a brunette, unfortunately I did not glean his name. (However, I’m sure you can identify him with proper fact finding questions).#G2
: The second gentleman that approached our table was taller and bald, unfortunately I did not glean his name. (However, I’m sure you can identify him with proper fact finding questions).
Image for Attachment A:
Image of Business Cards referenced above: