McDonald's Takes Guest (Dis)Satisfaction Seriously
What happened to service with a smile?
McDonald’s recently reported that its accounting of guest satisfaction for 2006 shows that during a year in which the fast-food chain improved its financial performance on several fronts, the number of customer complaints also grew. Complaints per 100,000 guests totaled 20.1 at company-operated stores, compared with 18.5 in 2005.
A recent article by Dow Jones Newswires' Richard Gibson, reports that the lack of transaction accuracy accounted for about one-fourth of the more than 500,000 complaints logged by the company's customer contact center last year. What topped the list included “wrong item in order,” “product missing,” and “incorrectly prepared product.” After accuracy problems, customers complained most about what they regarded as "rude or unprofessional" employees, which represented more than 15 percent of the logged complaints. Speed of service was the third-largest negative complaint, accounting for about 7 percent of those compiled.
McDonald’s, however, isn't turning a blind eye. The company is taking guest satisfaction seriously and making sure it fixes these problems. In its “Loud and Clear, The Voice of The Customer” report, McDonald’s is capturing the customer feedback and taking it to its franchisees and restaurant managers—largely in the regions that scored the lowest in satisfaction—and using it to retrain managers and employees to improve the conditions in those stores.
The company may not see customer satisfaction scores rise over night, but at least it’s owning up to its mistakes and striving to understand how its performance stands up to customers' expectations and then trying to close those gaps to deliver a successful customer experience.
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