After a day of work there is nothing more satisfying than ordering a large FROSTY at Wendy’s. It is a simple and perfect treat that cannot be improved upon. No need for whipped cream or sprinkles or other flavors. The Zen of the large chocolate frosty speaks for itself. But of course getting reliable service and having the item you want to still be featured on the menu is very risky at the many Wendy’s stores I have frequented.
But on one particular visit I learned how they cope with disputes and slip ups (at least until the manager arrives). They have scripts for various situations!
After I ordered my FROSTY, I became curious and fidgety while waiting, and found myself peering over the cash register to read what was on a sign facing in the employees direction as they took orders.
The sign had a long list of cheat sheet answers for the clerk, approved by the company, to guide the worker through any potentially difficult ordering scenarios. For example, if one special sandwich is not available, the clerk is told to gently break it to the customer and then suggest some alternative menu items. Another scenario involved what to do if the broccoli cheese baked potato was unavailable. The worker is to say specifically to the customer, “I’m really sorry you feel that way. Please allow me to get the manager for you.”
It was fascinating to see so many priority problem areas addressed with scripted solutions. (scenario 1) “I am so sorry that your fries are cold. Allow me to heat them up for you again!?” (scenario 2) “I am so sorry that your fries are cold. Allow me to offer you a free French fries voucher for the next time?!”
The company had a plan to guide workers through a variety of bad exchanges with the customer. The premise being that the customer is valued and should be accommodated. But I have to wonder, if all efforts fail to appease the disgruntled customer who still demands the broccoli cheese baked potato, can the workers then be allowed to restrain the person based on getting the OK from the Manager, if he or she is still making unreasonable demands? As an example, “It is unfortunate Sir that you chose to continue to be unpleasant, if you will not accept my plan B or plan C accommodation we are going to have to assist you in leaving your place in line.”
Haven’t we all been in awkward situations in life that cried out for some kind of script to fall back on for guidance? Something to help us feel more poised and articulate in order to be convincing and reach a compromise? A quarterback’s playbook on the wrist to refer to? Some instant confidence booster, similar to the Cyrano De Bergerac story, in which the nervous suitor who wants to win the girl, but cannot find the words, instead uses the talents of someone who is poetic and clever hiding in the bushes, a verbose person equipped to whisper the perfect words to the one the first person loves on the balcony. Then we could win love and speak from the heart! Even if you are an unworthy original, with some flattery and subterfuge she just might fall for it. Simply take a breath and follow the script.
But what if she also wants a broccoli cheese baked potato and you are all out?