Customer Service

Suzette Brawnercustomer service, fast food, patience

I’ve never worked in customer service, but I’ve been a customer … thousands of places. That has to count for something. I have a great idea, but it seems the old fashioned suggestion box, like to face to face communication, is no longer the norm.

I read an article the other day that recommended if you want to communicate with a 20-30 year, old don’t email or call, text. Calling is so last decade and email is so five years ago. If I had the contact info for the customer service representative of every fast food restaurant in the country, I would text this message: “For better service and less customer frustration implement a “beverages only” line.”

I do consider the fact I live in a tourist town and in the summer it’s just easier to drive to another town for anything, but drive-through and walk-up counter service everywhere would work so much better if there was a separate line for those only wanting something to drink.

The other day I was going to drive-through McDonalds and the line was so long I parked and went in. Big mistake. Longer lines were inside probably because is was a toasty 103 degrees outside. I was actually running 20 minutes ahead of schedule so I took a deep breath and got in line.

After a few minutes the woman ahead of me turned around smiling and said, “Wow this is crazy, where are you from?”

“Right here in town,” I smiled back.

“Really? You live here. I’ve never met anyone who lives here,” she looked surprised.

I hear that a lot and wonder how people think the town operates if everyone is a visitor.

She told me about all the shows she and her friends had seen, every restaurant they had eaten in and that they would be headed back to Iowa later that afternoon. We both agreed the heat made most folks irritable, especially if they had screaming, hungry kids.

I ran my “beverages only” line idea by her and she thought it was fabulous. “It could be like the returns line at TJ Maxx,” I explained. “When no one is returning anything the clerk jumps over to the purchase register and rings customers up. So if no one wants a beverage only the server could move to the regular register to take orders. There are always at least two idle registers at every fast food restaurant I’ve ever been in anyway.”

“You are so right!” she said as she finally placed her order. “You should make that suggestion somewhere.”

I felt so validated.

After my 15 second exchange at the counter of my $1.09 and the large Styrofoam cup I knew my suggestion would be a good one because it had been 15 minutes since I had left my car in the parking lot.

Sometimes I wonder if I’m put into situations to strengthen my underdeveloped spiritual gifts. Instead of working on patience, I usually dream up ways other people can do things better. I don’t like that about myself and it stings a bit when I realize I need to refocus.

I still think my “beverages only” line is a good idea.