Yesterday I was driving to Columbus Ohio to speak at a conference. I stopped at a McDonald's to get a cup of coffee. When I walked in I was struck by how nice it was inside. The colors, the layout, the light, and cleanliness were all instantly apparent. I thought, 'wow, what a great McDonald's!'
And then I ordered a medium coffee Instead of getting the coffee, the cashier printed the receipt and asked me for my name. I was now in line to get my coffee after everyone else had received their food. I asked if he was going to wait to get my coffee and he said, 'no.' However, it was apparent from all the people standing around that the policy was to go in order - regardless of the degree of difficulty. In my mind, it is fairly easy to get a cup of coffee and there is no need to wait. I can see the need to give the customers their food in order but coffee escapes me.
Watching the people work it became apparent that they really didn't have a smooth system for meeting the needs of the customers. Maybe they were short handed but there really didn't seem to be an sense of urgency. The 'fast food' idea was lost on them. This experience resulted in me changing my view of the restaurant. It went from 'great' to 'I'll have to choose a different place to stop in the future.' Why? Because they don't see things from the client's point of view. They see their situation and they work within it. However, because of that they are missing out on the value they should be bringing to their customers. In a day when there are so many choices, companies should lead with an interest in what their customers need and want. This will ensure the company is meeting those needs and growing their bottom line.