Worst Guarantee I have ever seen

December 4, 2015 @ 10:16 am
by Vance Morris (Disney Guy)

Recently, I took my kids to the local McDonald’s for milkshakes (which is about the only thing I will let them eat there. As we waiting in line at the drive through window, I noticed a sign posted, crooked, which read:Worst Guarantee Ever

“Accuracy Guarantee. We get it right, or we make it right. If you place an order and don’t get the correct items, we’ll make it right.”

The worst guarantee EVER

My first reaction was “That is the dumbest freakin’ thing I have ever seen.”  Come on… I would certainly hope and expect my order to be correct and for McDonald’s to fix it, if it was not correct. 

My next reaction was, I wonder what “make it right” means to the employees at this particular restaurant? Would I get something Free? Would they offer me a gift card for a return visit? Maybe offer me a free coffee for my trouble?  So I decided to ask when I got to the cashier. I placed my order for 4 chocolate shakes.

The cashier said she had NEVER seen the sign and had no idea what it meant! Score one for poor management communication. So I paid the lady at the first window and moved on the the second window to pick up my order.

Of course, I was now amused at the situation, so I asked the second McDonald’s employee “What does the Accuracy Guarantee mean?”  Of course, he had no clue. He had never seen the sign. Score one more for poor management.

As we drove away, my son called from the back seat “Dad, my cup has a hole in it and it is . It is leaking all over me and the car.” Sure enough, my son was covered in GREEN goo.  Not only did his cup have a leak in it, but they had given him one of those green minty shakes….

So we parked in the lot and went in the restaurant to get cleaned up. While my son was in the bathroom, I went to find the manager to complain about the cup and the incorrect flavors. He was more that happy to exchange the shakes, but offered no apology about the leaky cup, my kids sticky clothes or the mess in the back seat of my car. So I decided to test the guarantee.

I asked him “What about your make-it-right guarantee?” He just looked at me like I had three heads and had just spoken a foreign language.  “What are you talking about?” he asked. I then escorted him to the window and showed him his sign.

I have never seen that before” he exclaimed. “My district manager must have put that there and not told us.”  SCORE!!!  A perfect trifecta of poor communication by the management of this store. And with that he turned and walked into the kitchen, never to reappear.

A couple weeks later I drove past the McDonalds, and the sign was gone. Hmmm…

What’s this got to do with your business?  All together now… EVERYTHING!

  • First, please examine your guarantee. Have someone else outside of your family and business read it and have them tell you what it means to them.  You may be surprised by the answer.
  • Secondly, if you don’t have a guarantee, it is high time that you created one. It will set you apart from your competition.  Make sure it is bold and meaningful. Then test it on a few people and get their reaction.  Make any tweeks as you see necessary.
  • Finally, be sure to communicate your guarantee to your entire team as well as publicizing for the public. Make sure your staff understands the guarantee and how they should react when it is tested. When I was at the Disney Company, we held multiple staff meeting throughout the day to ensure that all cast members were up to date  on our policies.

You have your home work assignment, go do it NOW!

For more on service standards check out my free special report “Systematic MAGIC, How to Disnify Any Business”. Vance Morris is a Walt Disney World Resort Management Alumni, having spent 10 years as an executive in the Resorts. He runs the only Disney Service & Direct Response Marketing business on the planet. Here he coaches companies to create Disney Style Service Systems and then monetize them through direct response marketing. He is also the GKIC 2015 Marketer of the Year. He can be reached at www.DeliverServiceNow.comor vance@deliverprofitsnow.com .

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