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Drive-Thru Disaster

July 26, 2021 BY The Siren Of Support Leave a comment

I don't normally eat fast food. But when I do, it usually leads to disappointment . For the past month a commercial from a big chain burger joint has been tempting me to try their new chicken sandwich. It looked amazing. It came with pickles. I'm a sucker for pickles. I managed to abstain, until Sunday. I sat in the drive-thru for 18 minutes, not exactly fast food, but I was loaded with anticipation and I was salivating as I drove home with my coveted chicken delight.  

Once home, I unwrap what I expect to be a sandwich masterpiece. I quickly discovered my expectation of a plump, crispy, pickle loaded sammie is really an over-cooked, flat, soggy mess. How bad can it be? I still got the pickles. Two bites in and I toss it. Even the pickles couldn’t save it. 

Now, while I could go on about my sandwich defeat for days, that’s not really the point. My expectations were not met, my hopes, dreams and needs were unfulfilled. I could have called. I could have taken it back. I likely would have received some sort of resolution. Instead, I just moved on. When a company fails to fulfill their promises, customers can choose to either try to remedy the situation or to simply walk away.

How as a business owner can you make sure that your employees nail it everytime? That your customers are happy and not just quiet?  How can you be confident in your product and service level if you are not working in the trenches? How can you make sure that your customers' expectations are not only being met, but being exceeded? 

  • Ask! - The dangerous customers are the ones that don't let you know when you didn't hit the mark. The ones that don’t complain. A quiet customer is not always a satisfied customer. Make yourself accessible for feedback whether it be in the form of a survey, customer service software or a good old comment card. 
  • Show Appreciation - Not just to your customers, but also to your people. Employees who feel valued will be invested in the success of the company. They will work harder, be more diligent and overall just be happier. Happy employees make happy customers. 
  • Get Down and Dirty - Think “Undercover Boss”. Flip the burger. Make a sale. Wait on a table. Spend a day in the shop getting greasy. Walking a mile (or an eight hour shift) on the front lines can teach you more than any customer or employee feedback. Where can you improve the product? The process? The experience? 
  • Always Strive to Get Better - Perfection may never be achieved, but as long as you are chasing it, greatness will prevail. 
  • Be Honest - If your new and improved menu item belongs on the $1 menu. Put it there. If you’re using a high energy 3-4 clutch pack and upgraded from 6 to 7 clutches to increase durability in your remanufactured 4L60’s. Tell the world! 

Never be shy of achievements. Be proud of your quality and your high level of service. But never believe you can't still be better. 

And always. I mean always. Offer the pickles.

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