By Sondra Whitt
Who would’ve thought that Jim and I could get an inspired idea at McDonald’s? That’s exactly what happened last Sunday when we stopped by for a breakfast burrito. We walked in and we heard a loud, disembodied voice saying, “Welcome to McDonald’s, can I help you?” Although we hadn’t walked up to the counter, we lowered our gazes from the menu high up on the wall to the young man standing behind the counter with his back to us. Since he hadn’t once turned to look at us, at least that we’d seen, we didn’t answer him. But apparently this is where the voice was coming from because, when he got no response, he finally glanced over his shoulder at us and asked, “What can I get for you?” This isn’t an unusual customer service occurance. Many times the person who is supposed to be offering help makes no eye contact, mumbles something incoherent, or yells some pre-programmed welcome while doing something else. So our inspired idea was to conduct customer service training for new employees. At first Jim thought it should be for teenagers since, at least initially, we thought they were the worst offenders. But then we realized that we get this kind of poor customer service no matter what the age of the person offering it! And from people who may not be new employees. There are lots more examples … I’m sure you have your own particular customer service pet peeves that I hope you’ll share with us here.