May I Take Your Order Please?

Recently I read a Facebook post and the discussion beneath it regarding a customer who decided not to utilize a speedy system policy by placing their fast food order with an employee stationed outside for the sole purpose of receiving them.  The customer drove past the employee and elected to place their order at the first window now only utilized for receiving the payment for food.  The debate indicated a number of reasons why this was acceptable:

  • Customers are choosing to spend their money. They should be allowed to order where they want to.
  • Their order was wrong in the past up to 3 times when they used the employee posted outside to receive orders so they don’t use him/her.
  • People should just be prepared to wait on fast food drive up lines.

As I read the post, I started to wonder if customers thought about the far reaching impacts of decisions like these.  I mean yes, most people are selfish and only consider what impacts them however, this situation does not only impact the customer who is breaching the policy but also impacting other customers waiting on food and it impacts the fast food organization’s brand.  I won’t even touch how it impacts the ignored employee.  How you may be asking.  I’m so glad you did.  Here is how.

  • Other customers are impacted because their wait time on the drive through line has increased.
  • The food service team is impacted because they were not prepared for your order. This places an unnecessary amount of stress on the team because of the decision of a customer who refused to follow their process and increases the chances of errors.
  • The organization’s brand is impacted because customers at the back of the line or customers who have no knowledge that when you received your order in the past using this system it was wrong are fuming because the company instituted this process which has made their wait time longer. They take to social media or blast the company within their circle by word of mouth when the company did not create the problem at all.
  • The employee is rejected and has to deal with the emotions attached to dealing with “rude” customers.

There are times when organizations policies and procedures will fail us.  That is a given.  There will be times when you dislike how an organization handles its people.  There may be times when you think how an organization conducts business is wrong.  While this is the case it is NEVER right to inconvenience other customers who are innocent in the situation.  Then how do I handle this situation.  Again I am glad that you asked.  Here is how to:

  • Lodge a written complaint with the company when they have wrong you.
  • Lodge a written complaint when you believe their process or procedures are unfair.
  • Post a message on their social media pages.
  • Allow them to respond.
  • If they respond with an answer you don’t like or if they don’t respond at all STOP DOING BUSINESS WITH THEM.

Here’s how not to handle it:

  • Disregard their process and do what you want under the guise of it’s your money you can do what you want. It is not your right to do so.  Your right is to take your money elsewhere.
  • Purposely inconvenience other customers

While organizations are responsible for protecting their brands and ensuring their policies are customer friendly, customers also have a part to play in the overall customer experience.  What customers do and how they do it impacts more than just them.  It impacts other customers as well.

The customer experience is a partnership and not a one sided relationship.  Everyone must do their part. To improve the customer experience organizations must work hard to remain on the cutting edge and change as customers’ needs change.  However customers must adapt to change and be mindful of how what they do makes or breaks the experience for another customer and how that decision can impact the bottom line for these companies.

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