Wednesday, 30 May 2007

Gone in 60 Seconds….

Waitress 1: Sorry we can’t make changes to the breakfast menu.
Customer 1: I just want the BLT served on rye bread instead of a baguette?
Waitress 1: Sorry, but we don’t make changes.
Customer 2: Can I get a Skim latte please?
Waitress 1: We don’t do skim?
Customer 2: what about Soy?
Waitress 1: Yep
Customer 2: So you do Soy milk, but not skim! Why?
Waitress 1: We just don’t…
10 minutes later…
Waitress 2: Hi, um…it seems we have run out of baguettes, would you mind the blt served on bread, or would you like to change your order?

The above was an exchange that a friend and I had with a waitress on Sunday, as we had breakfast at a café close to where she lives.

The Café is not expensive. Nor is it exclusive. It is just your typical, hip Melbourne-Fitzroy corner café. There is nothing on the menu saying why menu items cannot be altered. And each time my friend asks to have an item altered (always the BLT on Rye...such a creature of habit!) she gets inconsistent answers from the wait staff...

Make me feel special. Make me think my happiness is important to you. Get me to feel like I am part of your customer community? And I will care about you and be one of your business advocates. If they really wanted to stick to this policy what should have been said or stipulated on the menu…

Due to our small kitchen, and the busy customer traffic we experience, to ensure that all our customers get their meals quickly (and while they are still hot!), our kitchen staff unfortunately can not make changes to the menu items. We hope you enjoy your meals – and don’t forget to ask our staff about our daily specials!

Know your business value points in the minds of your customers.

A great contrast to this, comes from a company that truly understands what value it really provides to consumers - McDonalds
Bangkok McDonalds promises your order in 60 seconds or you get a coupon for a free drink. There's an electronic timer that the customer pushes to start the countdown. Reports from when the program was first introduced, indicate the staff seemed to have fun trying to get the order done in time. The customer is being reinforced of the message that - this is fast food, McDonalds strives for consistency and customer service, and how “customers” felt was in the forefront of McDonald’s business model! I can’t think of anything else that would be more important for McDonald customers to know!

3 comments:

Ann said...

Funny exchange with the waitron!

Nice post.

lenna said...

Natie...
i can totally imagine you in that exchange.
I am surprised you were that well constrained :)
L

Mack Collier said...

"Due to our small kitchen, and the busy customer traffic we experience, to ensure that all our customers get their meals quickly (and while they are still hot!), our kitchen staff unfortunately can not make changes to the menu items. We hope you enjoy your meals – and don’t forget to ask our staff about our daily specials!"

That is worlds better than simply saying 'no'. You are telling the customer why you cannot make changes, and letting them know that this will actually benefit them, as it helps ensure that they get a hot meal. Good stuff, and the explanation is positioned from the customer's point of view.