I’m a very positive guy. So it|Therefore it saddens me that lots of of my customer care observations give attention to bad examples and what not to do. Since I’d rather find and talk about examples of fabulous customer service, it’s become my passion in life to work towards most people believing that customer support generally is pretty good (the opposite is now true). Then I’d see great customer support all over the place!
For people who don’t know or don’t live in a state blessed with el Pollo Loco menu, they have the most effective flame broiled chicken on earth. I’ve been enjoying it for pretty much 20 years.
However, their customer service varies wildly from store-to-store. Get the wrong store and you may want to strangle an employee or two. Some workers neglect to grasp even the most rudimentary customer care principles.
And after years of searching, I finally found my favorite el Pollo Loco franchise. It’s just a little farther away from my home, but it’s worth venturing out of my way to get good service. I even wrote the business and told the district manager how great this store was, especially in comparison to other branches. Things have been going great, they knew me there, and that i loved eating their chicken. Unfortunately, I had an event yesterday which has made me reevaluate these positive feelings.
So, yesterday evening I needed some Pollo Loco chicken for lunch after a late movie. I called my personal favorite location, with all the best service around town, to set a takeout order. I got through right after the phone rang for nearly 2 minutes. An employee breathlessly answered the phone then asked basically if i could hold. “Sure!” I responded. Then, I waited, and waited, and waited.
I drove 8 miles in LA traffic, arrived at the store, and walked in with the cell phone still ringing. I required to speak with the manager. He was on the register. I assumed that they had just forgotten me, which had been not true. They had decided to not answer my call because they were busy. So they permit me to sit, and sit, and sit on hold.
Because they knew me, I asked them when they could see the phone was on hold. Yup. Oooops. I told them it had been me, and that I had been on hold for pretty much 10 minutes. What did the girl do? She walked up to the telephone and hung it. Not really a word of apology. After speaking with the employee, I visited the final of the line to wait my choose speak with the manager. As I is at line, I really could notice that the employee and the manager were referring to the call, my wait, and also the whole mess.
I arrive at the front of the line as well as the manager says in my opinion, “Hello, how are you currently?” Seriously?! He already knew I had been upset, yet he didn’t make his first words “I am just so sorry for your mess.”
I told him the whole story, specifically the part about being hung up on without having a word of apology. He turns to the individual who hung on me, says something, and she comes over and apologizes. He gives me some lame excuses about being unsure of regarding the call, blah, blah, blah. It never occurs to him to apologize, he just denies responsibility for the actions of his troops.
I ask the manager why his employee waited to apologize until he told her to. And, it gets ugly. He lies to me. He says she doesn’t speak English perfectly and so she didn’t say anything. Which doesn’t sound right, she did a bbquiq job speaking with me and apologizing once he’d told her to.
Sorry to express, I had been angry and left without my chicken and my appetite.
Now, this is actually the moral in the story. Whenever you screw up, just apologize. Then apologize again. Everyone. All the time. Take responsibility for annoying an excellent, el Pollo Loco menu. You screwed up. So does everyone. Just apologize then take action extra making it right. In this instance, buy me some chicken, give me a free coupon, or anything else to really make it right. Chicken and rice costs him a nickel. My business is worth about $1000 annually, minimum. Is saving that biz worth an apology as well as a little chicken? Yes.