How to Be A Better Leader Than Your Competitor

July 22, 2020

“So where’s your mask?” I ask.

“I’m not wearing a mask. I work on this line 8 hours a day and I’m not wearing a mask.” was his reply.

“Well, due to corona and this being a business where food is made—” he interrupts and says,

“I don’t make the food.”

I mention a reference that the City of Houston requires it if you’re a business serving the public and he ignores me.

In the interim, another customer comes inside without a mask and asks, “Is it okay if I don’t wear a mask?” to the staff member.

“Oh yeah man, no big deal. You’re fine.” he says.

Now, I almost never complain about customer service at fast food restaurants, because:

a) I don’t frequent them much anyway

b) most make minimum wage & DGAF

c) frankly, I don’t expect fabulous service when I’m not paying for it

But unbeknownst to him, I took photos & video and filled out the survey letting the company know about my experience at their franchise.

I did not expect a response, because it’s a national company.

I received a call this morning from the owner of that franchise and 6 other stores. He apologized profusely, offered  me compensation (I declined, this wasn’t about getting something for free), gave me his direct cell phone to call him if I ever had trouble at any of his stores, and thanked me so many times for sharing it with him.

I received a call this afternoon from an executive in corporate who apologized profusely, asked me for details, thanked me for informing them, and assured me that they took this seriously and would handle it appropriately.

The way this company responded to this matter is such an incredible example of LEADERSHIP.

Let’s summarize what they did well:

  • They had a process in place to listen to feedback.
  • They addressed the matter immediately (due to an organized system).
  • They apologized profusely.
  • They made zero excuses and took 100% ownership of the problem.
  • They offered compensation. 
  • They gave me the owner’s direct cell phone number for future feedback & communication
  • They thanked me for bringing it to their attention.
  • They promised to handle it appropriately.

(Please Note: the point of this post isn’t corona, masks, or how much you love or detest our country’s current executive management.)

We live in a wild world.

You can’t control people, even those you employ or the service your customers receive. Fuck ups happen, but HOW you handle it is everything.

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Hi! I’m Melodee Forbes, and I help leaders declutter their calendar, so they can create more time for self care. I’d be happy to support you in decluttering your physical items and digital systems. You can start to create more self care by clicking here.

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