Call it a case of love – and customer service – gone horribly wrong. And on Valentine's Day, to boot.
Steve Raines, co-founder of the local tech company Pointman, on Twitter today recounted his company's experience with an errant pizza delivery. It's worth the read.
So I have to share an amazing story about bad customer service. This is going to take a while so strap in. It all starts with a Valentine’s Day Pizza.
1:18 PM - 14 Feb 2018
This pizza, a heart-shaped one was delivered to our office today just after noon. The guy who dropped it off didn’t have an insulated bag, uniform, or a hat. But he did have a pizza for “Mike” from “April”
Our office has three employees named Mike, so it took some time for us to identify that none of our Mikes have a SO, sister or mom named April.
We considered the possibility that one of the Mikes has a secret admirer, but dismissed that when we realized that the address on the receipt for the pizza delivery was in fact not our building. Instead it was for a building up the block
At this point the pizza, a heart shaped one, has been in our possession for 20 minutes. Add delivery time and it’s fair to say the pizza was Luke warm at best.
So once we determined that the pizza was not for any of our Mikes, the employee who talked to the delivery guy called the pizzeria to explain what happened.
At this point, any rational person has to assume that the pizza place is going to say “thanks for letting us know, we’ll get a new one out to them right away. Enjoy your pizza.”
But if that had happened I wouldn’t have a thread.
Instead the first thing out of the mouth of the person from the pizzeria was “Did your Mike eat the pizza?” So the first thought here is... are they suggesting we are the kind of people to eat someone else’s pizza? Turns out we should have been.
Instead of thanking us for letting them know, the employee at the pizzeria says “let me talk to my store manager.” Apparently this is an issue that required escalation that somehow involved us
After 5 minutes on hold (pizza now 25-30 minutes in our possession) the “Store Manager” gets on the phone. Store Manager is quoted here because our employee is about 99% sure it’s the same person he was talking to originally.
And the question from the “Store Manager?”
“Do you have a big heart and want to walk it down there?” So now, we have an employee who has been asked to leave his job to deliver someone else’s pizza.
And because he DOES have a big heart and also because this pizza is now cold and largely inedible and because we have to find out how this plays out, he agrees to do it.
In fairness to the pizza place they did offer to check to see if they had someone in the area to pick it up and deliver it. That’s not better, but they did offer. There was no one in the area.
So the pizza gets delivered by @PointmanHQ staff because we care about people and are feeling bad for Mike and April. And we are also pretty upset about this experience and want to make sure they know the provenance of the pizza. At this point it’s probably 1:00.
A 10 minute walk later, guess who isn’t in the office? Mike. We speculate he is at lunch because he didn’t get his surprise pizza in time. The receptionist does nothing to dissuade us from this opinion. She does confirm that their Mike is the right Mike.
She has also spoken to April about whether the pizza has been delivered. So finally it is out of our hands. The sad, cold, heart shaped pizza is waiting to Mike.
So while he’s out, the employee from our office who took on this task gets a voicemail from the pizzeria. They are so grateful that they really want to thank him for all his trouble.
With 30% off his next order.
From a pizza place we don’t order from.
And now never will.
So the lesson here is that a company had a chance to turn a mistake into a great experience. They could have done the right thing for April and gotten Mike a fresh hot pizza.
They could have thanked us for letting us know and said keep the pizza, exposing their product to 30 people at a company and showing us that they care about customers incentivizing us to order from them.
They could have gotten free word of mouth from everyone involved about this minor mistake, exposing the idea of the heart-shaped pizza to many more people as well as showing they they take customer satisfaction seriously.
But what they did was pass the buck, make their mistake someone else’s problem, and half heartedly try to minimize the issue instead of owning it.
We are all human and make mistakes. It happens. How you deal with a mistake says everything about you and your employees and your company. And this was a complete and utter failure.
Oh, and one more thing. Remember how the original delivery guy didn’t have a bag, or a uniform, or a hat?
That’s because he wasn’t a pizza delivery guy. He was the guy the pizza was originally delivered to. In the wrong building and the wrong suite.