I’m a very positive guy. So it|Therefore it saddens me that lots of of my customer service observations concentrate on bad examples and what not to do. Since I’d rather find and write about examples of fabulous customer support, it’s become my passion in life to work towards most people believing that customer support in general is quite good (the opposite is now true). Then I’d see great customer service everywhere!
For those of you who don’t know or don’t live in a state blessed with el Pollo Loco menu with prices, they have got the best flame broiled chicken in the world. I’ve been enjoying it for nearly twenty years.
However, their customer care varies wildly from store-to-store. Discover the wrong store and you may want to strangle a worker or two. Some workers forget to grasp even most rudimentary customer care principles.
And after many years of searching, I finally found my personal favorite el Pollo Loco franchise. It’s a bit farther from my house, but it’s worth venturing out of my way to get good service. I even wrote the organization 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 experience last night which includes made me reevaluate these positive feelings.
So, last night I needed some Pollo Loco chicken for dinner after a late movie. I called the best location, with all the best service in town, to set a takeout order. I bought through right after the phone rang for nearly 2 minutes. A staff member breathlessly answered the telephone and 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 along with the telephone still ringing. I motivated to speak with the manager. He was on the register. I assumed they had just forgotten me, which had been not true. That they had decided not to answer my call simply because they were busy. Therefore they allow me to sit, and sit, and take a seat on hold.
Because they knew me, I asked them when they could begin to see the phone was on hold. Yup. Oooops. I told them it was me, and that I had been on hold for nearly ten minutes. What did the girl do? She walked up to the cell phone and hung it up. Not really a word of apology. After speaking with the employee, I went to the end of the line to wait my choose talk to the manager. While I is in line, I really could see that the worker and also the manager were referring to the call, my wait, and the whole mess.
I reach the front of the line as well as the manager says for me, “Hello, how are you currently?” Seriously?! He already knew I used to be upset, yet he didn’t make his first words “I am just so sorry for that mess.”
I told him the complete story, particularly the part about being hung on without having a word of apology. He turns to the individual who hung up on me, says something, and she comes over and apologizes. He gives me some lame excuses about not understanding about 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, then it gets ugly. He lies for me. He says she doesn’t speak English very well and so 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 express, I used to be angry and left without my chicken and my appetite.
Now, here is the moral from the story. Whenever you screw up, just apologize. Then apologize again. Everyone. On a regular basis. Be responsible for annoying an excellent, el Pollo Loco deals. You screwed up. So does everyone. Just apologize then do something extra to make it right. In this instance, buy me some chicken, produce a free coupon, or something else to make it right. Chicken and rice costs him a nickel. My company will be worth about $1000 per year, minimum. Is saving that biz worth an apology along with a little chicken? Yes.