Would you like fries with that......
The level of customer service that one receives at fast food restaurants and coffee shops has drastically changed over the last fifteen years and it’s scary to think of how much worse it could get. Now maybe I’m being overly critical having worked at fast food restaurant when I was a teenager and doling out “free smiles” on a daily basis, but it pains me to have to be on the customer’s side of the counter receiving what I can only term as pathetic and ultimately horrific service. Smiles are certainly no longer free and definitely not even considered part of customer service these days and when you receive service from “Freddy” along with a sloppily made cold burger – it just doesn’t leave a good taste in your mouth!
Recognizing that obviously serving coffee or super sizing fries is not rocket science – there still seems to be “an art” to providing good customer service no matter how tedious or boring the task and some people simply aren’t meant to be artist’s.
I could have written a book from my fast food experiences and encounters with good and bad customers and I’m certain it would have been classified as a comedic literature piece. I’ll never forget the moment when I realized I had fries stuck in my hair after a client threw them at me and yet even at a moment when I could have committed a criminal act, I smiled and apologized for his disappointment that his “fries weren’t hot enough and weren’t salted properly”. I wonder how many people would have the same composure and commitment to customer service in today’s fast food environments?
My experiences in the fast food industry were well worth it and I think of them often in terms of how they contributed to my professional growth and belief in the utter importance of high-level customer service - no matter what industry you are working in. I only wish that more people were as affected as I was by this experience so that I, as a customer, could experience the same level of customer service that was expected and delivered 15-20 years ago.
Maybe next time, I’m in a rush and grab a burger on the fly, I’ll ask them to hold the onions and add the service!