Every once in a while I indulge a guilty pleasure and trek to Taco Bell. Someone “at corporate” decided it would be a great idea to have the order taker, instead of belting our “how can I help you”, start with …
“Hi, this is Mary, how are you tonight?”
So far, so good.
At least until I answer…
“I’m doing great, how ’bout you?”
“Uhhhhhhh, what do you want?”
Yep. Not “I’m glad to hear that, now what can I get for you?” … instead it is made very clear that they don’t understand why I’m wasting their time w/small talk and would I please get on with it.
I’ve gone through this process about a half-dozen times. It became clear after the first that the initial “how are you tonight” is a recording done by the order taker once they come onto their shift. No problem there, it could still work.
But, apparently, someone forgot to tell the people inside that some people might actually appreciate it, answer their kind overture and reciprocate. So every time I pull up to the board, I get to have the experience of a nice (fake, recorded) welcome followed by an ambivalent-to-rude response. It ruins the experience.
They’d be better off keeping things as they were. This is one case where a half-assed marketing effort is falling flat on its face. If you aren’t going to train your staff how to handle your latest idea, their mishandling could negate whatever positives there were or worse.
Note: Don’t think this is just about Taco Bell. Three times this year (and many more before) I have watched clients flush money down the toilet with great marketing campaigns that drove response to unprepared or poorly matched staff. Bad thing.