We received a distressed call from a fine restaurant last month. “Please help us, we have a bank of lights in the dining room that are not working. We made it through last night but need the lights back on for the dinner rush.”
We went out to the job, assessed the situation. It was a defective dimmer switch. We changed the switch and the lights came back on.
“Thank you so much” they said. “We would have been crushed tonight without these lights.” I assume that this is not really true but they were still emotional at that point.
So, a month has passed and the unpaid service call invoice is still open. The defective switch is no longer an “emergency” for them. That stressful day has long since been forgotten. Now it is simply an annoying bill on the accounts payable pile. “We only pay our bills once a month. You will have to wait. I am sorry but that is our policy.”
What is not apparent to them is that we did not simply change a switch.
We provided them the ability to continue business as usual. Almost instantly I might add.
We kept a customer from falling down and suing the restaurant.
We allowed someone to try their new “favorite restaurant”.
We gave the restaurant a new lifelong customer.
We allowed someone the ideal place to propose to their future wife or husband.
You see, it was never about changing a switch. It was always about keeping the experience of the restaurant alive.