I’m a very positive guy. So it|Therefore it saddens me that lots of of my customer care observations concentrate on bad examples and what not to do. Since I’d rather find and write about examples of fabulous customer care, it’s become my passion in life to work towards most people convinced that customer service in general is pretty good (the contrary is now true). Then I’d see great customer care all over the place!
For people who don’t know or don’t live in a state blessed with el Pollo Loco menu with prices, they have the most effective flame broiled chicken on the planet. I’ve been enjoying it for pretty much 20 years.
However, their customer care varies wildly from store-to-store. Get the wrong store and you might want to strangle an employee or two. Some workers forget to grasp including the most rudimentary customer support principles.
And after years of searching, I finally found my personal favorite el Pollo Loco franchise. It’s a little farther far from my house, but it’s worth going out of my way to get good service. I even wrote the business and told the district manager how great this store was, especially compared to other branches. Things was going great, they knew me there, and i also loved eating their chicken. Unfortunately, I had an experience yesterday which has got me to reevaluate these positive feelings.
So, yesterday I needed some Pollo Loco chicken for lunch following a late movie. I called the best location, using the best service in town, to set a takeout order. I got through right after the phone rang for almost 2 minutes. An employee breathlessly answered the cell 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 shop, and walked along 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, that was not true. They had decided not to answer my call because they were busy. So that they let me sit, and sit, and take a seat on hold.
Since they knew me, I asked them should they could view the phone was on hold. Yup. Oooops. I told them it had been me, and this I had been on hold for pretty much 10 mins. What did the lady do? She walked over to the telephone and hung it up. Not just a word of apology. After speaking to the worker, I went along to the final from the line to wait patiently my turn to speak to the manager. As I was in line, I could see that the worker and the manager were referring to the phone call, my wait, as well as the whole mess.
I reach the front of the line as well as the manager says to me, “Hello, how are you currently?” 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 complete story, specifically the part about being hung up on without having a word of apology. He turns to the person who hung up 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 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 perfectly and thus she didn’t say anything. Which doesn’t seem sensible, 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, here is the moral of the story. Once you screw up, just apologize. Then apologize again. Everyone. On a regular basis. Take responsibility for annoying a great, el Pollo Loco menu. You screwed up. So does everyone. Just apologize then do something extra to really make it right. In this case, buy me some chicken, produce a free of charge coupon, or anything else making it right. Chicken and rice costs him a nickel. My company may be worth about $1000 per year, minimum. Is saving that biz worth an apology and a little chicken? Yes.