It’s going to happen. If you own a food truck, you are inevitably going to have an angry customer. And when it happens, you’ll do what you can to remedy the situation, but you should also try to learn from the customer’s complaint and use it to improve your mobile food business.
You’ll probably get another disgruntled customer before long, but if you learn from your mistakes, it won’t be for the same reason. If you don’t learn from the past you risk the chance that your food truck business will begin to develop a reputation for whatever it is you’re doing wrong.
When you get an irate customer calling, emailing, or walking up to your service window; you need to deal with it. Customer typically get angry for one of two reasons: either you didn’t meet your end of the bargain, or they think you didn’t. Whatever the reason, you need to first try to work it out. Maybe it is your fault, or your staff’s; take care of it. You can probably make the situation a little better by giving the customer a discount or future discount, or maybe a free side. Something to show that you are willing to work to keep their business will be a great peace offering.
What if it’s not your fault?
Sometimes you have done all you can and all you were required to, sometimes even more, but the customer still isn’t satisfied. Unfortunately, some people are like that. With one of these customers, it makes sense to cut your losses and move on. Some people will never be satisfied, and just let them go with an apology. Hold your head high and keep any negative remarks to yourself.
What can you learn?
Most people don’t like confrontation. We try to appease others and make sure they are happy. Still, sometimes a confrontation happens. Remember the old adage: The customer is always right. Even if you aren’t in complete agreement, try to make your customer happy. In the future, you may be able to spot the “difficult” customer before situations escalate.
If you don’t have the flexibility to discern between customers, make sure you have policies in writing somewhere, whether it’s on your website or in your service window. That will help if a customer walks up demanding you refund money for a half-eaten meal. You can always override your own policies, but at least they will be there to point to if you need them.
Your reputation matters
Word travels fast, you want to make sure you don’t do anything to mar your food truck’s reputation while dealing with difficult customers.
Beyond actually resolving the situation with your angry customer, make sure you take a look at your operations and try to resolve any internal issues that may have caused the problem your customer had. If you let the same issue occur too many times, your food truck business will have a very hard time recovering its reputation.
Dealing with difficult customers is something every food truck owner will have to do. But they should really be few and far between, so try to focus on your happy, loyal customers who are why you’re running a food truck business in the first place.