Friday, March 14, 2008

Training The Trainer

I had a good laugh when I read The Success Coach's post on making a mess in fast food "restaurants" as a response to bad service.

Yesterday I went to Taco Bell between meetings; since there was a line in the drive-thru I went inside to order.

That wouldn't have been my choice if the meeting I left hadn't gone much longer than planned. As it was, eating in the car on the way to the next meeting was my best option.

It turned out to be a good opportunity to pick up some new material for my Train The Trainer training.

The young lady at the register, from all indications, was brand new.

She muddled her way through the order of the woman before me; slow, but without much trouble.

Then it was my turn. Two stuffed steak refried beans...with double steak was too much for her. She stood looking at the keypad, but there was no movement.

Over comes the supervisor/trainer.

Again, I'd like two stuffed steak burritos, no refried beans, with double steak. I've got it, the trainer says, and she starts guiding her through, beans...extra steak...

Double steak, I interject.

The trainer pauses, looks me in the eye and says, I've got it.

I wait until she finishes, then I say I have a question to ask. I tell them that as I understand it the stuffed steak burrito gets two scoops of steak. Does "extra steak" mean "double steak"?, I asked.

Extra steak, the trainer says, means one extra scoop. A total of three scoops, I say, isn't double steak then. The trainer tells me they'll fix it; she then plugs in whatever the correction is without explaining to the cashier how to do it.

A primary reason for bad service at fast food restaurants, I can guarantee, is that the people doing the training, typically, don't have good listening skills and don't emphasize listening. Training needs to be about more than learning to run the cash register if you're going to achieve any level of quality customer service.

I believe every fast food chain in America should require management personnel, at every level, to complete listening skills training.


Marion said...

A good post. It took me many years to figure out that I wasn't listening when I interacted with others. Learning to listen is a subject that should be taught in schools.

Panic in New York said...

It sound like customer service here in Paris. I do miss Taco Bell a little.

Anonymous said...

I used to work fast food 10 years ago in Bath, ME.
Burger King
It had the best service. Not just because I was the cashier. No because they listened and strive for customer service. From management all the way down it was make the customer happy.
Can't do that without listenin.

If the order took to long the manager would automatically give a free pie or fries or supersize it.

I'd like to think it was the same at that Burger King today.
But every fast food place I go to is unbearable incompetents.
I seldom go fast food anymore.