Once upon entering a fast food franchise (yes I know it’s not healthy, but oh well) I witnessed a verbal altercation between if you can believe it – two employees! From what I could gather, there seems to have been an error on a customer’s order and one employee was trying to place the blame on the other.
I was somewhat dumbfounded as both employees seemed not to notice that I had entered or that all of the attention of the eat-in diners was upon them. Finally, I moved closer to the order station and whispered to get their attention – “Hey – you really shouldn’t do this in front of the customer.”
I don’t know how many of you have witnessed a similar encounter, but I do know it’s not the way one should represent their respective company to customers.
When errors happen, they should be discussed out of the customer’s sight. It’s important to work as a team – not to place blame, especially in front of the customer! While it is necessary to determine how the error occurred it’s probably a good idea to not allow it to become heated. Employees should be trained to continue to work as a team, even in the midst of an employee-induced issue.
Fast food as well as other industries require employees to quickly provide a great customer experience by producing a quality product in a timely manner. This means everyone works in tandem to make sure the customer’s order is fulfilled properly.
Rarely will you see the person taking the order actually preparing the order? Each person is relying upon the other to properly complete their portion of the order fulfillment routine. As with any process where we humans are involved, errors will sometimes occur.
When they do, it’s important to quickly resolve the issue for the customer. When discussing the error with the team, one should look to the system first for the breakdown and strive to preserve the dignity of the employee who contributed to the error.
Moreover, employees should strive to preserve the customer’s perception of the company. As we all know, customers have smartphones with cameras and recording capabilities. One could unknowingly become a social media hit!
Remember when errors occur in fulfilling customers’ orders, especially in a public setting, choose an opportune time to discuss the situation. Just don’t do it in front of the customer!