restaurant | Customer Service Solutions, Inc.

A Story of Willie and Aubrey - 2/8/22


The gift shop was a great experience!  Aubrey had bought items online from the shop for years, but she had never stepped foot in the store itself.  However, when travel plans took her on a trip to new surroundings, she took time out of her day to go to Read more

It Matters Who You Know - 2/1/22


The season ticket account holder has an issue, but he’s not too concerned about it:  I’m going to call my guy, and he’ll take care of it. The patient is confused about their bill.  The family member says: I know someone who can help. The husband discovers a problem in the Read more

Put an End to 1-Star Ratings - 1/25/22


If you ever had service performed on your car, I would not doubt it if you received the immediate e-mail asking for that 5-star rating. They want the big ratings because that makes them look good, and to get the big average rating you have to avoid the 1-Star Read more

Signs of Service Recovery Situations - 1/18/22


As we continue the slow trend of more and more customer interactions becoming in-person again, we need to remember those signs that we’re about to enter one of THOSE conversations.  It can typically take only 5-10 seconds to realize this is going to be a high-risk situation with the Read more

In Survey Development, Think in Reverse - 1/11/22


We often meet with clients interested in conducting a survey, and when we discuss the project, many clients come with questions in-hand.  They are interested, curious, even excited sometimes about the possibility of tapping into the voice of the customer! And when we review their questions and start to see Read more

Foster Positive Feelings - 1/4/22


I bet a lot of you all are like me - when you’re asked to share your feelings, it’s not always something that feels comfortable.  It obviously depends on the situation and who’s asking you to share your feelings.  So, many of us might hesitate in sharing our feelings. However, Read more

How to Make the Situation Right - 12/28/21


The manager in the field office felt that - when problems arose with customers - the company didn’t do an especially good job of responding effectively.  He felt like this was hurting customer renewals of annual service agreements.  The company developed many customer service and retention initiatives with little Read more

2021 Holiday Poem - 12/21/21


Breathe and rest and relax and rejuvenate. Close the eyes, and fill the lungs. Take a break, and be with friends. This is a time to begin. Renaissance is called a rebirth. Birth can bring new life. Life gives opportunity for living. Living gives opportunity for joy. We have so many outside factors, So many things that tug Read more

“I’m Sorry” Doesn’t Mean “I’m Guilty” - 12/14/21


Individuals and organizations mess up; that’s part of life… They told me that they were going to be at my home at a certain time; they were REALLY late.  The customer service representative said they would get a message to a co-worker, and the co-worker would call me back; I Read more

Apply Selfless Service - 12/7/21


Andrea had worked in human resources for years, and the company decided that it wanted to hire employees who were more customer service-oriented, regardless of the position.  After making that decision, they added some creative questions to the interview process. One of the most interesting questions that Andrea had to Read more

I’d like a burger, fries, and some customer service, please…

Posted on in Business Advice, World of Customer Service Please leave a comment

Is it too much to ask to get some consistently good customer service from a fast food restaurant?

Well, according to the article McDonald’s customer service push irritates some franchisees, yes, it is too much to ask. Apparently McDonald’s corporate has acknowledged a need to improve its customer service, but some franchisees aren’t too happy. It’s not that the franchisees don’t care about customer service (I’m making a BIG assumption here with some franchisees), but they are first and foremost concerned with profits. And profits are driven by product margins, volumes, and efficiencies, right?

Apparently, McDonald’s corporate is also pushing the Dollar Menu (lower margins) and promoting offerings (such as wraps) that are less efficient to produce at the franchise level.

This issue is actually a microcosm of what a high percentage of businesses have experienced in the last 20+ years with the advent of rapid technological advances. The improvements in technology and ease of market entry for competitors have driven down prices in many industries, negatively impacting gross margins. Also, as customer service have expanded from primarily phone and face-to-face to include social media, smart phones, and other communication vehicles, the process of delivering customer service has become more complex.

So I feel the pain of the McDonald’s franchisee…really…I do. But at some point they need to look at customer service more strategically as a source of retention, additional revenues, upsells, cross-sells, profitability, and long-term viability and growth. If they did, they wouldn’t be focused as much on gross margin concerns. Instead they’d be focused on those things which they control which truly drive long-term client retention and growth. They’d make their own decision to focus more on customer service.

What do you think about the franchisees’ concerns and the state of customer service in fast food restaurants?

Interested in improving your company’s customer service? See more at our new website! http://www.cssamerica.com/







Groupon Now Rewarding to Retain

Posted on in Business Advice, World of Customer Service 1 Comment

If you’ve used Groupon as a consumer, you understand that you get deep discounts (50%+) from local businesses. If you’re a business, you realize that that can drive lots of consumers to your business, but you’re only probably getting half of what the consumer pays Groupon; so you may only be receiving 25% of your normal payment.

So the only way that Groupon really works for a business is for that company to receive repeat business (at a higher per purchase level). So for Groupon to succeed, it’s all about their business clients retaining and growing business with those Groupon customers.

The theory for the business is they take a short-term loss on a consumer purchase to establish and grow a relationship with that consumer. The reality is often different, however. The business could be cannibalizing their own business by selling at discounted rates to existing customers. They could be involved with Groupon only to attract customers who buy purely on price (and a deeply discounted price at that!). So if the discount goes away, so will that customer.

To help its clients with retention, Groupon has created Groupon Rewards. They promote a “Hassle-Free Setup” followed by “Automatic Rewards” followed by “Customer Analytics.”

No, Groupon does not say that it is cutting its fees. It’s apparently proposing to manage a loyalty program for your business, where consumers get discounts once they’ve spent a certain amount. Not exactly leading edge stuff, but it does promote consumers buying before they get the discount.

So let’s focus on the broader lesson here. If you want to grow your business in a smart way, getting customers in your door (such as what Groupon has historically done) is only the start; long-term success is driven by retention and growth.

Interested in improving your company’s customer retention? Check out our Fast-Track Retention & Growth Assessment: http://www.cssamerica.com/cssfastrga.htm

Read our New Book – “Ask Yourself…Am I GREAT at Customer Service?” http://www.amigreatat.com/

Listen to our latest podcast episode of “Stepping Up Service” on The MESH Network at http://themesh.tv/stepping-up-service/







The 3rd Time Better be the Charm

Posted on in Business Advice, World of Customer Service Please leave a comment

A friend recently relayed this customer service story to me, and food stories are always a special treat! Enjoy!…or at least, Learn…

Twice this weekend I noticed that servers, in their desire to speed up the delivery process (I can only assume) were actually stepping over my words while I was ordering. I’m not a particularly slow orderer, and I haven’t noticed this much before, but it was odd.

Once was at a local sandwich shop. I was ordering the pick two so you have to pick a sandwich, a side, and a soup. I was giving my choices, but before I even got them out of my mouth, the cashier is prompting me for the next thing that I have to decide. I said “and I’d like…” (getting ready to say “a medium drink”), and she interrupted me in mid-sentence to ask if I wanted a drink. I can almost see this occurring if there was a long line behind me, but there was no one else in line. It probably would have even been okay if she was cheery and bubbly or perhaps apologetic, but this young lady was none of those things – not a smile to be found.

The other experience was at a fast food restaurant the next day. I gave my order for the combo; she says “what?” in a terse voice, so then I began to restate my order, and before I could finish restating it, she interrupted by saying “Drink?” I was in the process of telling her that; oh, and, again, there was nobody behind me in line.

These may be perceived as “little things,” but is interrupting others good customer relations? Is being rude good customer service? Is not listening good for repeat business? Is it a good thing to be so task-oriented that you don’t focus on the person for whom you’re doing the task?

Hopefully the 3rd restaurant encounter for my friend will be better, and based on the tone of the story, it probably will be at a different place.

Read our New Book – “Ask Yourself…Am I GREAT at Customer Service?” http://www.amigreatat.com/

Interested in improving your company’s customer service? See more at our new website! http://www.cssamerica.com/