Here is a quick breakdown of what happened:
- They have a dress code that includes no hats
- A member in a large party got cold and put on a cap
- They asked him to remove the cap – it was against policy
- The gentleman has cancer and was cold in the restaurant - why he wanted to wear the cap
- The Morton’s employees asked for a doctor’s note to make the exception
And it goes further sideways from there…. but since I wasn’t there, I can not relate with accuracy what happened next
But Morton’s is going to be okay, and here is why:
As a frequent patron of this restaurant, I know first hand that they have a solid reputation for delivering a great experience. Employees who have interacted with me are courteous, attentive and generous.
Morton’s employees use vocabulary such as “my pleasure”, “of course”, “I will get that right away”.
They have built a loyal following and are a destination for both locals and visitors. As a result of their existing practice of delighting customers, they will recover from this recent misstep.
Because they already understand the importance of delivering a great customer experience, because they train and hire with the customer experience in mind, they have earned ‘loyalty currency’ that will get them through the social media attention that they have received this week.
I will continue to dine at Morton’s Steakhouse because I understand that bad things happen even at great places, and Morton’s is no exception.
But here is what they need to do next:
The leadership and employees need to gather together for some open dialogue about the situation, the breakdowns, the recovery and how they will handle exception situations going forward.
As I stated, bad things happen even to great companies, but how you recover, learn, and improve is critical.
Your loyal customers will remain loyal – this time – but don’t disappoint us again.
A former CEO I worked for was famous for telling us: “Mistakes are like tuition, but I am not going to pay for the same course twice.”
Morton’s, don’t make us fans go through Customer Experience 101 again.