Restaurants that have a drive-thru offer a convenience that can be appreciated. You see, without a drive thru, customers need to get their food by following the steps below in some form:
- After arriving at restaurant, find a parking spot
- Then get out of their car
- Walk into the restaurant
- Then wait in line
- Then order and pay for their food
- Wait some more before getting their food
- Make another decision: eat in or head back to their car to eat there or leave to eat somewhere else
With a drive-thru, several of those steps are eliminated! There may be additional arguments for and against drive thru options from both sides but that isn’t exactly what this post is about. Consider the steps above as a refresher for what may happen at restaurants without a drive thru.
Here is my story
After completing a personal project, I decided to grab a meal from a local fast food store. I got in my car and headed to a local McDonalds. I pulled up to the drive thru and ordered a meal. Then I drove to the first windows to pay for the meal. A few seconds later, I arrived at the second window ready to pick up my meal.
It was nearly when a minute went by and an employee came to the window to let me know that there was a problem with the drink machine and it would be a few moments. After about a minute, I received my order and all was great. There was something else–something extra. I received an upgrade to a large drink at no extra cost to me.
Review the situation
- I went to Mcdonalds because I was hungry. I opted for the drive thru, ordered and paid for my food. Upon expecting my food, there was a problem.
- An employee took the time to let me know of the issue and that it would be resolved shortly.
- I received an addition on my order at no extra cost to myself.
Apply to your business
Surely, there have been times when their has been a problem with a customer and it wasn’t resolved in a timely manner. What was the result? Perhaps, that customer became upset and maybe just maybe they told a friend about their bad experience. What can you learn for my McDonald’s drive thru experience?
When an issue arrises that will affect a customer:
- Notify the customer of the problem
- Let them know how your are going to correct the situation
- Follow through and correct in a timely manner
- Close by thanking the customer for their business
Taking a few moments to let a customer know what is going on is very much appreciated. Customers don’t like to be left in the dark about issues! Certainly, I did not mind waiting a little longer than usual to get my food and I was rewarded for my understanding and patience. Finally, the drink upgrade when viewed as a cost to McDonalds is very minimal and it doesn’t mean that you have to upgrade an order or provide an “extra.” You can provide the gift of thanking the customer for being just that–a customer!