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Providing Support

I drove up to Dallas last week with one of our other Dwyer Group presidents, Doug, who is techie.  If you go to his house, he has the latest and greatest of TVs, electronics and other gadgets. When you ring his door bell, he can see you and talk to you – even when he is thousands of miles away.

I drive up to Doug’s house, and he asked me if I wanted anything from McDonalds.  Seems they have this new app where you order the food and pay for it, drive up to a specified numbered parking spot at the restaurant, notify them you are there, and they rush out with the order.

When we arrived at McDonalds, Doug discovered the app is “clunky.”  He gets through all of the prompts and notifies them we are in spot #2. We sat patiently waiting for the food to be delivered while we watched a dozen drive-through customers receive service.

Trying to help, I went inside the restaurant to tell the staff that I’m glad to bring Doug’s order out. The worker at the counter is the only one in the restaurant besides the person cooking.  She was handling the drive-through, the counter customers and everything in-between. It was obvious she was frazzled, so I asked her if they were short-handed that day. She replied that this happens EVERY morning, that she can’t take it any longer and that this was going to be her last day.  She was oblivious that there was even an order from the app and hurried to fill it.  (Again, I watch even more cars successfully go through the drive-through.)

Fifteen minutes after we pulled into the designated spot, Doug’s order arrives: egg McMuffin, hash browns and an orange juice.

Several things went through my mind as we drove to Dallas:

  • Was this person ever trained on how the app works when someone orders in this method?
  • Who was in charge? Did they have any idea that customers coming to their store were getting the worst service I’ve ever seen at a McDonalds?
  • Didn’t the person in charge have an idea how many customers they serviced at 6:45 in the morning – do they staff up accordingly?
  • Is this app a good idea – or one that will just anger a bunch of previously happy customers?

I love McDonalds – always have: double hamburger, NO CHEESE, extra onions and a large diet Coke—my staple lunch when I don’t eat with MK.  Two out of three times the order is wrong.  I think NO CHEESE is simple.  I mean no cheese on my double burger – not no cheese in my diet Coke.  Aaarrgghhh.

Training.  Listening.  Customer service.  Providing support.

  • What do our people say about us? Do they think we train them to get better? Do they want to get better so they can make more money?
  • Do we listen to them? Do we teach them to listen to the customer? When customers complain, why?  I’m going to bet you a double hamburger that it’s communication, or lack of it, that your team members have with your customers.
  • Customer service—how do your customers rate yours? Do you schedule a call somewhere between 9 and 11 and show up at 12:30 without any phone call? Do you show up at 8:15 when the customer is just getting out of the shower?
  • Providing support—what would your team say about you? Do they believe you support them?  (Remember, this isn’t about anything financial!)  Do they think ‘you have their back’?  If they need legitimate help on a job, do you provide this for them?

Amazing the leadership lessons one can get at 6:45 in the morning at the golden arches. Now, if they just served those double burgers, no cheese, extra onions that early in the morning, I’d really be a happy camper.

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