A happy voice and a pleasant tone saying “Good evening I am ——–, how may I assist you?” – it’s been eons since I heard that when I called up a food establishment, to place an order, for home delivery.
It was just the other day, that I happened to call up a reputed (American fast food) brand to order for home delivery, and the guy at the other end went “Hanji Sir, boliye”. Not that I have anything against the use of our mother tongue, but it’s something I would expect if I was calling up a “Sanjha Chula” to place an order. I started the conversation in English but soon figured that if I carried on like that, I’d actually get nowhere, so yes – I ended up ordering my burgers (with exotic names) all in Hindi!
The fact that the conversation was not in English bothers me for sure, because it’s an expectation that I associate with a particular brand. Not only does the language bother me but also the manner in which the order was taken. The entire order-taking process – of just ordering some burgers actually took me about 12- 14 minutes – and to add to that, in that span I also did end up talking to three guys for the same! To make it worse, I was put on hold several times and somehow just did not get what they were saying. During the conversation I don’t know when the confusion began, so much so that by the end of it the guy on the other end managed confusing me as well!!
Once again I re-iterate it’s the basics: listen first (rather than interrupting), write down the order somewhere (for God’s sake, don’t rely on your memory), repeat the order (once the customer is done ordering, not like a parrot after each item is said by the customer), ask the customer if they would like anything else, mention the time taken to reach your home and finally re-confirm the bill amount. Not to forget if all of this is done with a SMILE :), the face muscles won’t ache too much.
I know there are establishments that have centralized their order taking, but it’s not like they are any good as well. I try to figure out the reasons in my head: is it that they haven’t been trained, or they have been trained but don’t follow, or they just don’t have the bandwidth? There are no periodic checks, no one is supervising and to be honest, I have no idea what it could be! It’s the same story of getting those basics rights because as a customer too, we don’t want much, apart from the basics! 🙂
Watch this space for more!
Customer, Hotelier, Restauranter and Hospitality Trainer