You are responsible for customer service…NOT your computer!

January 8th, 2011 by Gallagher John No Comments
  • Papa John’s has really good pizza.

Every once in a while, I realize I may have a customer experience that is not satisfactory. You know the experienceI am taking about.  It’s the experience that leaves you yelling out in frustration at an innocent family member!  I had one of those experiences recently.

Our family really likes Papa John’s Pizza.  Good quality…decent prices…  I am even willing to drive to pick it up since they do not deliver to my house.  But, my recent experience was one of the more frustrating experiences I’ve had for a long time.

Upon landing in Roanoke after a long week out of town, I call my family to see what they want to have for Friday dinner and they want…pizza.  Not just pizza, though, but Papa John’s Pizza.   I phone in my order and learn that ALL Large Pizzas are $10.  All my son wants is a Double Pepperoni pizza.  When trying to order his pizza I hear the following:

  • I am sorry sir. We can no longer do double pepperoni.  Our computer won’t let us do it.”
  • “We just got a NEW computer system and it won’t let us put anything in double.”
  • If you order online, you CAN get double toppings, but I cannot do that here at the store.
  • That would be confusing and we are very busy.”
  • “If you want to make a complaint, you can go online.”

Well, their invitation to file a complaint online has been fulfilled.  So, what should we all learn about customer service from this:

1)  Customers have options: – The phone number for Bellacino’s pizza in Roanoke is 540-989-2009.  They will do double pepperoni adn their computer allows it!

2) Leaders should train their team to SOLVE PROBLEMS The pizza @ Papa John’s is very good and a good value.  I don’t blame the employees for the fact that they didn’t have creative options to solve my desire for a double pepperoni pizza.  This is a Leadership issue.  Leaders need to train their employees according to company GUIDELINES, but give them authority to SOLVE SIMPLE PROBLEMS.

3) Computers are important, but don’t think they will solve all problems – Computers are rarely the ‘silver bullet’.  In this case, the Dinosaur (the computer) is driving the car (the business), and the dinosaur WILL ultimately crush the relationships you have with your customers. 

“Studies show that people will tell six times as many people about a negative customer experience campared with a positive experience.”   

When have computers failed you in your relationship building?