Being able to inspire your clients to share their true experiences with you is critical. It’s even more important that they feel you’re truly listening.
I was excited to take some friends to one of my favorite new places to eat.
As a foodie, I love places where the passion of the craft shows up in the atmosphere, culture, as well as on the plate.
I don’t need it to be fancy; I need it to be an experience, and this spot had all the elements that were important to me.
So, I was looking forward to backing up my raves and rants with a shared experience with friends.
The dinner was…well…it was ok. They missed their usual mark on a few things that I know the owner would have been disappointed to hear about.
I know that my friends were a little disappointed because the expectations I had set were not met. Bummer. So, to my surprise, when the hostess asked how everything was as we were leaving, I blurted out, “It was fine.”
Why did I say that? It wasn’t fine. Why didn’t I let her know I was disappointed? Because I was.
Why didn’t she know that when my normally raving review was diluted into an obligatory reflex response that it should be cause for alarm?
That really bothered me. In fact, how I responded to the hostess bothered me more than the experience itself.
“Fine” is a death sentence.
We often use the word ‘fine’ to describe how our crappy day was, to tell a co-worker that their substandard report is good enough to send to the boss, or to praise a woefully deficient dining experience to an insincere hostess.
‘Fine’ is most often not fine. ‘Fine’ is often the single word that means, “I’m likely not going to come back.” We all know this; I didn’t just teach you anything you didn’t already know.
But, I have two questions for you:
Why do we say things like ‘fine’ reflexively when it’s not true?