I always appreciate great customer service. I especially appreciate it when things may not go as smooth as you hoped. I experienced that over the weekend. I stopped by the KFC in town to get a 10-piece bucket of chicken (I needed one piece to use as a sermon illustration last Sunday, which then left me 9 simply just to enjoy!)!
I was a little taken back when I placed my order at the counter only to hear, “I’m sorry we’re currently out of chicken!” WAIT! How can that be? You’re a chicken place! KFC – you know, the “C” stands for chicken! That would be like going to Dairy Queen and being told they are currently out of ice cream or going to McDonalds and being told that they are currently out of hamburgers.
Actually, they weren’t out of chicken, they were simply cooking more. She told me it would be about a 5-minute wait. No problem. But then the 5-minutes quickly turned into 20-minutes. Another customer who was waiting for her hot wings (which they were also out of) was clearly expressing her dissatisfaction to the gal behind the counter. I just smiled. Getting bent out of shape was not going to make the chicken cook any faster. To my delight, the gal behind the counter offered me a free drink since I had to wait (it must pay to be polite because the same grace was not extended to the grumpy customer waiting for her wings).
So I filled up my cup with some diet Pepsi and continued to wait. I’m not sure how long it takes to deep fry chicken, but the 5-minute wait that had turned into a 20-minute wait now extended to 30 minutes. Fortunately, I had nothing pressing on my schedule so I just waited patiently while drinking my free diet Pepsi. The grumpy customer (who in the course of our wait I learned was passing through on vacation from Kentucky) kept offering snide remarks loud enough for the gal behind the counter to hear.
When the chicken was finished cooking, Mrs Grumpy from Kentucky was given exactly what she had paid for and had been waiting for. When the gal brought me my bucket of chicken she whispered, “We put several extra pieces in your bucket – thanks for being so patient.”
So I left KFC with a heavier than usual bucket of chicken in my hand and a big smile on my face. It was nice to be made to feel valuable as a customer even when things didn’t go smooth in the transaction. In fact, I was so thankful and impressed that I wrote an email to KFC headquarters letting them know how much I appreciated the service.
Colonel Sanders would be proud!