I’m a very positive guy. So it|Therefore it saddens me that lots of of my customer support observations focus on bad examples and what not to do. Since I’d rather find and write about types of fabulous customer service, it’s become my passion in life to work towards many people thinking that customer support generally is quite good (the opposite is now true). Then I’d see great customer support everywhere!
For those of you who don’t know or don’t live in a state blessed with el Pollo Loco, they may have the most effective flame broiled chicken on earth. I’ve been enjoying it for nearly two decades.
However, their customer care varies wildly from store-to-store. Find the wrong store and you might want to strangle a worker or two. Some workers fail to grasp even the most rudimentary customer service principles.
And after many years of searching, I finally found my personal favorite el Pollo Loco franchise. It’s a little farther away from my home, but it’s worth venturing out of my way to get good service. I even wrote the company and told the district manager how great this store was, especially when compared with other branches. Things have been going great, they knew me there, and i also loved eating their chicken. Unfortunately, I had an event last night which includes got me to reevaluate these positive feelings.
So, yesterday evening I needed some Pollo Loco chicken for dinner after a late movie. I called my favorite location, with all the best service in the city, to put a takeout order. I bought through right after the phone rang for pretty much 2 minutes. An employee breathlessly answered the cell phone then asked 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 telephone still ringing. I required to speak to the manager. He was on the register. I assumed they had just forgotten me, that was not true. They had decided to not answer my call because they were busy. So they let me sit, and sit, and sit down on hold.
Since they knew me, I asked them if they could begin to see the phone was on hold. Yup. Oooops. I told them it was me, which I was on hold for nearly 10 mins. What did the girl do? She walked up to the telephone and hung it up. Not really a word of apology. After speaking with the worker, I went to the end from the line to wait patiently my consider speak with the manager. While I is in line, I could observe that the worker as well as the manager were speaking about the call, my wait, as well as the whole mess.
I reach the front in the line and also the manager says for me, “Hello, how have you been?” Seriously?! He already knew I was upset, yet he didn’t make his first words “I am so sorry for the mess.”
I told him the whole story, in particular the part about being hung up on without having a word of apology. He turns to the one who hung on me, says something, and she comes over and apologizes. He gives me some lame excuses about not understanding regarding the call, blah, blah, blah. It never occurs to him to apologize, he just denies responsibility for that actions of his troops.
I ask the manager why his employee waited to apologize until he told her to. And, then it gets ugly. He lies to me. He says she doesn’t speak English very well and thus she didn’t say anything. Which doesn’t make sense, she did a bbquiq job talking to me and apologizing once he’d told her to.
Sorry to state, I was angry and left without my chicken and my appetite.
Now, here is the moral in the story. Once you screw up, just apologize. Then apologize again. Everyone. On a regular basis. Take responsibility for annoying an excellent, el Pollo Loco menu. You screwed up. So does everyone. Just apologize and after that do something extra to make it right. In this case, 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 will be worth about $1000 annually, minimum. Is saving that biz worth an apology as well as a little chicken? Yes.