Monday, July 6, 2009

customer service...and I'll take that to go!

There seems to be a serious lack of customer service these days. Anyone notice that? Esp. at fast food restaurants. Okay, the very term 'fast food' should be your first clue that they are NOT going to be super friendly. But, when did we start sacrificing common courtesy? Do you really have to pay extra to get a smile with that hamburger??

The other day we were at Wendi's. The one we always go to used to have good service. They almost always got the order right and they smiled when they handed it out the window to you. The girls and I used to get a chuckle out of the sweet lady who always called me ‘sugar’. She’s not there anymore though. In fact, the guy who is there most days pretty much throws the bag at you. Another time we went there, I was half way down the road before I realized they had one of our meals wrong. Isn't that THE most frustrating? You either wait at the window while you check your order, thus pissing the people off behind you, or you end up screwed because they gave you grilled chicken instead of crispy on your salad. Complain to the manager? Sure if you want them to spit in your food the next time you pull through the drive-thru.

Then Sonic opened up down the road. Each time we've been there the service has been excellent. The order has been correct and our food delicious. It's still fast food. I spend about the same amount there as I used to at Wendi's. So where am I going to go for a burger next time I'm in town, clearly not Wendi's. It's sad that so many restaurants are focusing on quantity as opposed to quality.

Should lower prices mean crappy attitudes?

Don't get me wrong, I worked in the service industry for years. I realize it's not easy to LOVE your job. To be sweet and courteous to all the customers all the time. But I do remember the morning meetings where the boss drilled it into us that a happy customer means more sales and more sales means we get to keep our jobs for another day!

Doesn't anyone take pride in their work anymore? Is that so archaic?


Jake - but not the one said...

I hate it when I get down the road and don't have what I ordered. I fix that by slowing down and going IN to order. Many fewer mistakes that way.

But mostly I don't do fast food. Unless it's an Egg McMuffin breakfast. I can do those. :)


Kelley Nyrae said...

Ugh! Bad customer service drives me nuts. I hate it when I don't get what I paid for.

Unknown said...

My mother was a waitress and she was even polite to jerks.
Fast food isn't an excuse for what is just plain bad manners. My ex worked at McDonalds and they weren't too bad under one manager, with the other they got away with a lot. I don't think the price is the issue, bad management is the issue.

BTW, I almost always go in, even if I plan on take out. They seem to behave better and it's easier to scan your bags for the correct food.

Molly Daniels said...

I've taken issue with the fireworks company this past week. They have a 'no refund' policy, but the other day the customer's husband told her not to buy just as she finished paying and I closed my drawer. I wasn't about to tell her no, so I went ahead and refunded it. I'd rather do that than have her bad-mouth us all over town. And my manager agrees with me, fortunately!

We both know the power of word-of-mouth advertising, and sent my teens down to the rival store to check out their deals. They came back saying our prices were lower and that we weren't screaming at anyone. And with all the free stuff we threw in on the 5th, hopefully people will come back next year...if he and I get the job again.

MJFredrick said...

I've actually had good customer service lately, from the drive-thru at McD's and Whataburger, the check out at Walmart who said we made her day, and the waitress at the Kettle. I make a point to commend good service, because so often the managers hear only the bad.

Regina Carlysle said...

We have an Arby's not far from our house. For years, we noticed the staff wasn't very friendly. I mean, they got the job done but were seriously lacking in the smile/personality dept. I told the kids I almost hated buying anything there because of it and figured the store manager who did the hiring must really DIG bland personalities. Lately I've noticed this wonderful, friendly staff. Yep, new store manager. He must be a DOLL because this is a sweet bunch of kids.

If I have an unfriendly waiter/waitress I tend to not tip as much. If they are at the OTHER END of the spectrum and sweet, I over tip.

Unknown said...

I worked at Wendy's on Del Range here in Cheyenne.

OH MY GOD. Such rude pieces of **** they are there. The manager took offense to the fact that I'm both Buddhist AND vegan, and made me constantly prepare animal products. I CANNOT DO HARM TO ANIMALS!!! He even made me go and swat things that came into the restaurant.

Bastards, the lot of them, I tell you. Don't you believe that ANY fast food restaurant respects religious difference in their workers.

gdn. Nakkun Eddou

Anny Cook said...

I've worked in several fast food restaurants. If the customer service is lousy, speak to the manager. Good manager = good service. Bad manager = terrible service. There is no way around that.

Mia Watts said...

Completely agree.

McDonald's never gets mine right. How hard is it to put Buffalo and Ranch in the nugget bag?

Anne Rainey said...

Jake--truthfully, I tend to stay at the drive-thru window for a few seconds while I check the order. I hate when I get half a block away and I don't have everything.

Kelley--The worst is when they act like they have better things to do. I always want to say, 'Um, this IS your job, right?'

Anne Rainey said...

Connie--I try to always be a good customer. When I go into a sit down restaurant I smile and try not to run her ragged. And I don't make a mess of things. I clean up after myself. Being servied doesn't mean you should be a slob. So, I guess I figure I'm due the same type of treatment by them.

I used to work in a restaurant as a hostess. Most of the customers were good people, but there was always one who had to act like you're his/her damn slave. Ugh.

Anne Rainey said...

Regina--It's all about the manager, that's true. Our Arby's is horrid. Last time I went I got a chicken sald. The chicken was frozen solid still. Um, gross. I haven't gone back since.

MJ--Funn you should mention Wal*Mart. I get good service there usually. Last time I went the lady cracked me up when she saw my driver's license and started laughing. Actually laughed. I started to feel a bit offended and asked what was so funny. She said, 'I'm sorry I carded you, I just never would have guess you were in your forties. Thirty maybe, but never forties.' Yep, I love Wal*Mart. LOL!!!!!!