“Fun is good.” – Dr. Seuss

An experience after a recent boat cruise got me thinking about the little things that make up a consistent experience for your clients – the kind that you want them to have.

After a great time on the water, we walked back from the wharf to a cool, old English pub. The place was buzzing.

We had a ton of fun, as we told stories and laughed, and laughed – apparently a bit too loudly for the waitress. Twice she asked us to be quiet. The second time, she told me to ‘use my inside voice’ because others around us were having dinner. Ouch.

I know I can be loud when I laugh and have fun, but our behaviour wasn’t bad, at all – and not inappropriate for our surroundings. This wasn’t a place of worship or a ballet performance. It was a pub – a really great spot, with excellent food, drink and service. They’d done everything right, but it was clearly a ‘no fun’ zone.

Now, to me, an English pub is a place where the owners want the patrons to have a good time – to share a laugh with a group of friends. So it struck me as silly that it was important to this person that the pub should be quiet.

More than that, instead of making a quiet request, or enrolling us in solving her problem, she put me down.

I don’t know if it was the policy of pub for people not to laugh, volume restrictions, if the waitperson had a headache, or a bad day. As a customer I don’t know, or care.

That customer service experience reminded me that you can do everything right in your business to build customer loyalty, but one little thing – or person – can eliminate it forever.

Next time we’ll go somewhere else.