I recently heard an interesting perspective that altered my thoughts on reviews, star ratings and testimonials. In this knee jerk reactive, social media world we live in, people have the opportunity to praise or harm a business without the owner even being aware of a situation. Such a situation developed the other evening at one of my very favorite restaurants on the Pedestrian mall in Downtown Charlottesville. We had new clients in town and they selected Red Pump Kitchen for their first dinner in Cville. Unfortunately, they had a less than stellar experience there and I was dismayed to hear about it the following morning. I impulsively jumped on Facebook to express my concern about their experience. We want our clients to love Virginia as much as we do, of course.
Clearly, I intend not to dwell on what went awry, but how rapidly the efforts were employed to rectify the situation! After hearing about the note on Yelp and my note on Facebook, the owners, Dean Andrews and Lynn Easton aggressively delved in to the situation, reached out to their team (even though they were out of town at one of their restaurants in Charleston, S.C.) and contacted me on our clients behalf the very same day! With their reputation for attention to detail and hands-on service, I received a phone call with a sincere personal apology and Dean offered the option of inviting our clients to experience the beautiful Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyard for a complimentary Sunday lunch. As many already know, Pippin Hill is a favorite with The Knot, Martha Stewart Weddings and Vogue and deserves it’s ranking as one of the premier wedding destinations in the country. Pippin also boasts one of the most picturesque views in Virginia, and a striking approach through an allée of fragrant popcorn white hydrangeas towards the rustically elegant barn/event hall and tasting room.
Reserved for us on this gorgeous August afternoon was the shaded corner table providing a gentle breeze where we were indulged with refreshing Blanc de Blanc and sparkling Rose. Our server, Colleen, was delightful, attentive and excellent! Matt, the manager checked into make sure everything was perfect…and it was. The cheese board and charcuterie board were artistic, locally sourced and delicious, we loved the Buffalo Sliders and the atmosphere and scenery exquisite as always.
It couldn’t have been a more delightful afternoon. It also served as an unexpected opportunity to celebrate my birthday and our clients =) which are both tomorrow.
So as far as those star ratings and reviews, I came to the conclusion that sometimes second impressions have even more impact then first and we have two new prospective homeowners in Charlottesville who are totally sold on Pippin Hill, will certainly return to Red Pump Kitchen and are excited to be able to experience more of our beautiful area. Many thanks and a Five Star rating to Dean Andrews and Lynn Easton for your amazing attention to detail and welcoming them to our Virgina Wine Country.. Happy Birthday to me…