I'm vacationing in one of my favorite areas, Rockport, Massachusetts. This quintessential New England seaport village near Gloucester is like stepping back in time.
So I call a favorite Rockport restaurant (My Place by the Sea) to make reservations for this evening. It's 11am. Phone is answered. I tell the guy that I want to make a reservation for this evening and I'm told…"I'm sorry, you'll have to call back at noon. We don't take reservations before noon." I ask him if he has a piece of paper and a pencil handy and he tells me "Sir, I don't take reservations. Our reservationist doesn't get in until noon…you'll have to call back then."
Now this restaurant has, maybe, 50 seats. Here's another situation where there exists job description confusion. While taking a reservation may not be in this guy's job description, choosing another restaurant to spend my $200 at certainly is in mine. I just love these customer service moments.
(next day)…so what's "the rest of the story?" We show up at the restaurant. Except for two other tables, the place is empty. Hmmm…perhaps 30 people called before noon and got the same message that I did…and, unlike me, chose to go elsewhere.
Think about your job descriptions and culture. What policies do you have that get in the way of good, practical, logical customer service?