The complaints that occur as a result of these changes can put doubt in the mind of the originator of the vision for change. In this case that would be me1. We've changed a huge amount over the last three years. We believe for the better. The complaints against us have been decreasing and the compliments increasing. It is still upsetting when we know that our service does not match the expectations of the few that still make their way here and find we're a whole lot different than we used to be. This has happened more than I'd like this year.
This week though, despite being very busy with a bank holiday and half term, we seem to be hitting an all time high on compliments. I received this email:
Just a quick note to thank you for the hospitality you provided to us earlier this week. The food was super, the drink good, room comfortable and your interest in us very much appreciated.This sort of thing just keeps happening, so perhaps my vision isn't wrong after all. Our visitors book is rammed with good stuff. It helps when the customers are fantastic people, like the ones who were kind enough to write the above.
In terms of levels of customer service, it would be hard to find better. When the power went off on Weds. morning, we really appreciated your efforts to get our breakfasts on the table as if there were no problem.
We hope that you have a busy summer and continued success and will recommend The Woolpack to friends & family with pleasure.
The trouble is, I think that the average return time for most customers is around 3 years, we're a tourist pub after all. Some people say they were last here 30 years ago, some return several times a year, but I reckon the average is 3 years. This means that after any major change the customer base is likely to take at least 3 years to settle down. That puts us around half way there. I'd better not make any changes for a couple of years then.
1Actually, that is really unfair to Ann, who puts a huge amount into the vision and regularly tells me I'm off beam. Sometimes, on very rare occasions, I've been known to listen to what she's got to say.