Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Chopping Block Learns Customer Service from the Airlines?

Grrr. For the second time in two weeks, a Meat 101 class I signed up for at the Chopping Block has been cancelled on me. I had registered for this second class date/time specifically at their recommendation, but got bumped for a private party. Again. Fine, whatever, but I figured I'd call to find out what the deal was with this class apparently being a target and to reschedule yet again. I'm almost finished reserving the last space in another session when I get transferred to another lady and have to start the process from scratch. So far, I've essentially registered for this class four times.

If this were my first class with them, I would have just hung up then and found another class at another company. Not a great way to build business.

Clarification: Despite this rant (which I stand by), I do want to emphasize that I intend to give them my business for a long time. The instruction at the Chopping Block is outstanding and an good value when you look at the rates at the other options in the city. However, if this registration was my first experience with them, I would have moved on and not had the opportunity to find out. They've hooked me as a customer, but who knows how many others swim away before they get reeled in?

As an actionable suggestion, I would recommend that they figure out a way to track people whom they've had to cancel and reschedule. If there's any kind of risk that a person can't get into another session (such as that one last seat in the third session - if I hadn't called immediately after getting the cancellation email, I might have missed that spot), then go ahead and put the student in there pre-emptively, just to hold the place for them. And, for the inconvenience (especially on a multiple cancellation), offer some kind of retail discount. It would foster some good will and drive some additional retail business. Just a thought.

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