How to Handle Difficult People
A founder's guide to effectively utilizing feedback
On a recent Thursday evening, I tried out a new San Francisco restaurant serving California cuisine. A diner at a nearby table was unhappy. I overheard him complaining all night -- the lights were too dim, the room too warm, the music too loud. I was hardly surprised when he flagged over the waiter to complain about his meal.
He scoffed and gestured angrily at the plate. I knew where this was headed -- toward a seething Yelp review, or so I thought.
The waiter didn’t break a sweat. Nor did she push the customer to explain himself further. Instead, she offered to replace the dish with anything on the menu and promised to expedite the order. Less than 10 minutes later, there was a fresh pasta entrée on the customer’s table and the rest of the meal sailed along seamlessly.
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