I felt this way today. I won’t mention the name of the establishment but this happened to me today (minus the machine gun).
I arrived at the drive through at 10:26am. By the time they got to me it was 10:31 and I was told I had to order off the lunch menu.
If you’ve never seen this clip I would recommend you watch. It shares the feeling I had in that moment.
I wanted breakfast so I explained that to the young lady and I got told ‘no’ again. Frustrated I drove away but I got to thinking, how could this be handled better?
It was 1 minute after the cutoff so ideally taking my order would not have been a big deal. They just could have said yes as easy as they said no. There was an explanation that the service was backed up and that’s why they cut off breakfast but I had time to wait so that was not a problem for me.
Rule number one is don’t make your problem, my problem. I wanted breakfast. That was my problem.
An alternative to just saying ‘no’ would be to offer something in compensation. At our church, when the parking lot is full (mostly on Easter) the parking team have coupons for a free breakfast at McDonalds and they give them out when they have to turn someone away.
If the policy was to cut off breakfast at 10:30 and it puts the drive through staff in a tough spot, they could give out a coupon for a free biscuit or something. It is better than just a ‘no’.
So, that is what I learned today. If you have to say no because of ‘policy’ then there ought to be the freedom to adjust the policy or offer something to soften the sting of the ‘no’. It’s good customer service and I guess would be an unexpected ‘extra’ that could heal the relationship.
What are your thoughts? How have you taken care of a client when you had to say ‘no’? What unexpected extra can you give when the policy won’t let you do what the customer wants?
Thanks for listening,
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