Grab your popcorns and join me on the"LIGHTBULB RED SOFA". Lets Talk.
Had an interesting experience yesterday at a restaurant. As much as I understand every company has a ”POLICY” but should policies affect our CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP and BUSINESS PROFIT? What is more important to businesses these days upholding policies, their customer relationship or profits(bottom line)? Even more Is there a place for managerial discretion in businesses today?
So I went for a site visit and started feeling very nauseous and tired then realised I hadn’t eaten all day I was on medication. I started craving for @kfc that was what I really felt like eating (😂😂 don't judge my meal choices”) my partner suggested @chickenrepublic which was close to the location as @kfc was forty-five minutes away so without hesitation I concurred.
My Customer Experience
To cut the long story short we ordered our meal and the total bill came to N4,500 naira about (10USD)
When we tried to pay, there were network issues none of the POS they had was working. We tried a couple of times and if you know how these things work you can get debited if you continue trying. At this stage, I was irritated and was feeling really tired and super hungry. You know the saying(A hungry wo/man is an angry 😡wo/man)😂😂😂😂. My partner advised us to leave since they were experiencing network issues and proceed to @kfc but for some reason, I refused because I thought ”Well the order is ready and packed and I really need to eat something because of the way I was feeling ” so urged him to be patient so we could try again ”Please let’s wait and keep trying” I murmured. He agreed and we kept trying.
I kept checking my balance as he checked his to ensure we had enough funds for the transaction narrowing the issue down to just a network issue. As we chilled to try again we noticed other customers had the same issue some who had cash used it whilst others went elsewhere as they experienced the same network issue.
The manager was apologetic because we had been there for a while he could sense my impatience and condition and kept smiling to ease my frustration as he bounces up and down the shop snacking on a meat pie. 😁😁
My Frustration as a business owner.
Again my partner tried using his own bank card thinking network would have corrected itself but to no avail, he then asked us to leave but this time he was adamant. Again ”I said it wasn’t fair, let’s not take @chickenrepublics patronage/money/business somewhere else. ( I tried to support the business owner committee.) so I refused to leave for three reasons
1. I was starving and feeling ill
2. As a business owner my self I didn’t think it was right to abandon the order and take my custom elsewhere, as the business will be losing money.
3. The food would be a waste unless they resell it to another customer which would be unethical. It was cold and bagged. This was almost an hour later. ( but hmmm what do I know)
Then we had a lightbulb moment or at least we thought we did 😂😂😂😂We suggested transferring the cash to the manager so he could use his Card to see if it would work or withdraw cash and pay. At this point if it didn’t work I didn’t mind leaving the cash with him, I just wanted a solution to the problem and I wanted him to at least TRY and be a problem solver, not a problem glorifier/ explained or policy narrator. But he kept saying ”Ha I can’ it's against company policy”
Fact: As much as I agree and understand the strategy and the reasoning behind it, I felt he wasn’t just any staff he was the “Manager” senior member of staff hired to ensure the business makes a profit and solve customer queries as part of his job description.
I Rest my case:
I was shocked at his utterance and script repetition. Decided to reiterate my point to him slowly by asking him a question. So I said and I quote:
”You would rather us leave the ordered packed food and walk out of the shop disgruntled unsatisfied taking our money with us to spend somewhere else for an issue that is no fault of ours? , whilst the business losses a customer and profit (because no matter how small our bill is it all adds up) his answer was YES it’s companies policy.
At that point, I rested my case o and thought “what’s my own self” I just hoped my staff were not turning away business away like this in my establishment because to some of us every little count."We hurried out the shop and drove to @kfc my first choice and had a nice meal with the same bank card through the same POS sales channel with no hitches and smiling staff who were kind enough to give me extra ice with my drink.
Don’t get me wrong the manager was doing what he was instructed to do which is following company policy. So perhaps not his fault? I will leave you to be the judge on that.
Note to self: Sometimes it’s good to follow your instinct my desire was KFC and that's what I ended up having.
So to all business owners out there, my question is Company policy VS Customer satisfaction/retention VS Managerial Discretion VS Business Profit. What will you rather uphold? Which of these processes exist in your company. Let's discuss.