Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Customer Service Mistakes Can Be Entrepreneurial Opportunities

I called Domino’s Pizza the other night as I was watching the USC-Notre Dame game on the tube.

Expecting to get exactly what I had purchased twice during the past three weeks, I quickly dialed the phone and recited my order:

“I’ll have the three medium pizzas with unlimited ingredients. Here’s how I’d like them. Two with triple mushrooms, and one with double pepperoni, and a single serving of mushrooms, onion, and beef, please.”

“We can’t do that,” the voice responded flatly.

“Why, not?” I shot back. “What’s the problem?”

“You can’t double one ingredient. They have to be different ingredients,” he claimed.

“You must be in MANAGEMENT, am I right?” I challenged, knowing only a dumb bureaucrat could enforce such a senseless rule.

He went on to inform me that my last two orders were placed with front line employee rule breakers who “Shouldn’t have done that.”

I tried to reason with him, pointing out that if I put ten different ingredients on a pizza, which I understood he’d permit, this would cost his enterprise far more than a triple dollop of mushrooms or double pepperoni.

He wouldn’t bite, even after I said I’d call Pizza Hut and award them my business.

“Mistakes” that customer love, providing they don’t break the bank, are glorious entrepreneurial opportunities.

I believe it was a customer who made the imaginative suggestion to the druggist who concocted Coca-Cola.

He asked this revolutionary question: “Why don’t you bottle it?”

If doubling the ingredients on a pizza can make people buy more of them, isn’t this a blessing?