Recently, Ken Munday, Teresa Duke, and I were in California to speak to pastors about one of our upcoming events. (Side note: One of the coolest things about the trip was being able to speak in the church where President Ronald Reagan attended.)
While the pastor luncheons went really well, one meal didn’t. It’s when we ate at a fast food restaurant. I know. I know. What am I doing eating this type of food? Well, there are a couple in California I try to visit if I have a chance. I just can’t resist. One is a popular burger joint that always has the greatest customer service – until this visit.
We were in Bel Air and plugged this restaurant into our GPS to find the nearest one. I didn’t expect to locate one in that part of town, but there it was. At 2:30 p.m., the drive-through was slammed, so I went inside. I found the same great customer service I’ve always expected. I placed my order, and the cashier read it back to me in exactly the same way.
After a few minutes, they called my number and out the door I went. I was in a hurry since I had left my colleagues in the car in what might have been a potential tow-away zone. Shhhh. Because of my haste, I didn’t stop to check everything in the bag. I ran out the door, got in the car and left. Ken immediately noticed my burger was missing. My fries and drink were there, but sadly, no burger.
I quickly turned around and jumped in the drive-through line that was slightly shorter than before. In great customer service fashion, they had a team member outside going car to car taking orders to speed up the process. Again, great job! When he walked up to our car, I explained what had happened and asked if they could bring one out to me.
Here’s where I was surprised. He then asked for my receipt. Again, something I should have checked when I paid. Was my burger on it? Nope. But since I heard the cashier read the receipt off to me, I didn’t think about it. He radioed in, and they said that I would need to buy another burger – and go through the whole line to get it.
Now, I have absolutely no problem with their actions. I should have checked their work to make sure they did it right. The issue for me is I wouldn’t have handled it that way, nor would my team. We would have quickly assessed the situation and brought a free burger out to the car for the customer’s trouble. It’s not about losing the sale of a burger, it’s about keeping that customer coming back.
Culture is more than a bottom line. In fact, I believe culture creates a bottom line—or at least a bigger one. But without the customer, there is none. Will I stop going to that burger joint? No. But I guarantee I would be more excited to go in the future if they would have taken care of me this time.
Questions: If a customer of yours orders a gross of your widgets and they came up a few short, how would you respond? Would you charge them for the extra or would you just make it right? Have you given your team the authority to make it right or would they have to “radio” it in?