After picking up her food at the drive-through takeout window of a local hamburger restaurant, a woman checked what she received and discovered that she was missing a medium-sized Coke. Frustrated but determined, she parked the car and walked inside the restaurant. After waiting in line nearly ten minutes for service during the busy lunch hour, she finally had the chance to explain what had happened and request the missing Coke. The worker she spoke to looked at her with a blank expression and then said, “I need to get my manager.” After several more minutes, the manager emerged and stood behind the counter, leaning against it with his arms crossed, a serious look on his face. Once again, the woman explained what had happened and asked if she could get the missing Coke. The manager responded, “I need to see your receipt.” The woman looked in her purse, thinking she might have jammed the receipt in there when she got change. Not finding it, she explained that the receipt must have been in the bag with the food, which was in the car. The manager said again, “I need to see your receipt. That’s company policy.” After several minutes of verbal scuffling, the customer left empty-handed. The manager turned to his employees with a satisfied look, as if to say, “I really showed her.” Think about what that Coke cost from an organizational standpoint. The original order was around $15. With repeat business, annual sales for this single customer would be over $500. Assuming the customer tells others about her negative experience, the loss of annual sales will be even higher. What mistakes did the employees of the hamburger restaurant make along the way in providing service to this customer? What training would you recommend to address these errors? By the way, the wholesale value of the Coke and the cup was 20 cents!
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