This month’s real life customer service story comes courtesy of a good friend here in Houston, Tx. He writes: “After a long day at the office, my wife and I decided to stop in at a well-known franchise location for dinner. The cashier was professional, friendly and exhibited an enthusiastic personality. We ordered our meal which was served in a timely manner and with a smile. As I began eating my chicken breast, I quickly noticed the inside was not fully cooked. I immediately took the chicken breast to the cashier. She apologized and summoned the manager to the counter. As the cashier showed the manager the inside of the not fully cooked chicken breast, the manager looked at me and said, “Nothing is wrong with this chicken. This is how it looks, it’s okay.” I informed the manager that this chicken was not fully cooked and asked for a chicken breast from a different batch to which the manager replied “This chicken is good. I’m not replacing it. People eat it like this all the time.” The manager then turned and began walking away. I said to the manager “Excuse me, you’ve got to be kidding me! Is this how you treat your customers when a concern is brought to your attention? Let me get your name and the regional manager’s name and phone number.” The manager tore a piece of cash register tape, circled the store number and said “That’s all you need” as she turned to walk away. I wrote down the names that were on the employee’s badges, saved my receipt and proceeded to leave the premises. My wife and I were both speechless and shocked at what had just occurred. How did a visit that started out with such amazing customer service go so badly so quickly?’
Wow! To think that this bad customer service experience resulted from the manager of this establishment’s choice to not acknowledge the customer’s concern or perspective regarding the undercooked chicken. It’s always a good idea to acknowledge the customer’s concern as this makes the customer feel valued as a person and as a customer. How much is the cost to just give my friend another chicken breast? Probably not very much at all. Now consider the cost of not replacing the chicken breast – A call to the regional office. Sharing the experience with others. On another note, the manager did not model the proper behavior in front of the cashier. The manager should set the tone for those over whom they have responsibility. In my opinion, how can this manager discipline the cashier should she exhibit poor customer service if the manager does not bother to exhibit basic customer service skills? As a manager, remember that you set the tone for your operation and for those over whom you have responsibility. Don’t forget to acknowledge your customer’s concern and resolve the situation to the satisfaction of your customer – in this case – just give the customer another chicken breast!