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How to lose a long term client in a matter of moments...

A detailed account of a Fastlane process...

MJ DeMarco

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@Chitown True story...

So the barber I go to is a small shop that is usually empty. Even on Thursdays and Fridays when the place should pick up (due to men prepping for their weekend) the place is relatively empty. The place has a patchwork shop with zero branding, atmosphere, or anything. But they do a decent cut and it's not a chain. Support the small guy eh?

Due to its convenience to me and that fact that I never have to wait, I've been frequenting these folks for a few years, dozens and dozens of visits. Their prices are slightly above average, but since I value my time, I like walking in, getting a buzz, and leaving 15 minutes later.

On my last visit, it was empty again.

The hairdresser seated me and I noticed the owner sitting in the barber chair next to me.

He was chit-chatting with a friend who was sitting nearby.

About five minutes into my cut, the owner's wife comes in with a 2 year old. She then proceeds to talk to the owner (behind my shoulder) for the rest of the duration of my cut.

No problem right?

Wrong.

The whole time the 2 year old was having a temper tantrum and SCREECHING at the top of his lungs. No, not crying and general displeasure. THIS WAS AN ASSAULT. Mind you, I'm hard of hearing as it already is, but it was literally painful to my ears. Yes, PAINFUL. The hairdresser even whispered to me, "I'm so sorry." For the next ten minutes, it was a non-stop soundtrack of this, blared straight into my ears:


IN MY EAR. NON-STOP. NO BREAK.

Did the owner care?

Nope, not one-iota.

My ears rang for hours afterwards.

Do I have a problem with the owner's wife coming in? NO.
Do I have a problem with the toddler crying? NO.
Do I have a problem with the toddler screeching off in the distance of the shop? NO.

Do I have a problem with an assault on my ears and you don't have the self-awareness to tell your wife, "Gee honey, there's a customer here can you take little Bobby to the back? YES.

You see, your selfishness is what is costing you money. Your selfishness is why your business is freaking empty on Friday. Your selfishness is why you can't find an idea that doesn't fit into the "do what you love" bullshit.

Instead of putting his customer first, he put his convenience first.

Adios my friend.
 
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MJ DeMarco

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You’d think this was basic common sense.

How about it. Kids cry and scream. I get it. But this was so rude and disrespectful, I thought I might have been in some type of hidden camera experiment. I was like, "Hmmm, is that really a kid screaming or is that being piped in for the experiment?"
 

AA1980

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Now that you say it, I could have absolutely see this having been a “What Would You Do?” Episode on ABC


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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This is an industry where the bar has gotten super low. I pay above the going rate for my 10 minute buzz cut because I finally found a chick that doesn't endlessly complain about her job and other customers while cutting my hair. She only does a serviceable job.

I had a girl that did much better job, and for about $15 less, but the complaining got to where I literally dreaded going for a damn haircut.

Rule number 1 of customer service: Don't be a pain in the a$$.
 

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same thing. today , one of the store i used to go lost me as a customer because the sales people don't show a profesional attitude.

this is like you are dealing with kids in the street.

this is unacceptable .
 

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10 years ago I got a hair trimmer for $20. It's still going strong.

I cut my own hair twice a month. Takes about 15-20 min, including clean up.

Just a thought, especially if what you're doing is pretty simple.
 
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ZF Lee

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It always amazes me how uncommon common sense has become.
The day when common sense has to be a part of the productocracy value skew in black and white is the day the world faces an apocalypse.:rofl:
@Chitown True story...

So the barber I go to is a small shop that is usually empty. Even on Thursdays and Fridays when the place should pick up (due to men prepping for their weekend) the place is relatively empty. The place has a patchwork shop with zero branding, atmosphere, or anything. But they do a decent cut and it's not a chain. Support the small guy eh?

Due to its convenience to me and that fact that I never have to wait, I've been frequenting these folks for a few years, dozens and dozens of visits. Their prices are slightly above average, but since I value my time, I like walking in, getting a buzz, and leaving 15 minutes later.

On my last visit, it was empty again.

The hairdresser seated me and I noticed the owner sitting in the barber chair next to me.

He was chit-chatting with a friend who was sitting nearby.

About five minutes into my cut, the owner's wife comes in with a 2 year old. She then proceeds to talk to the owner (behind my shoulder) for the rest of the duration of my cut.

No problem right?

Wrong.

The whole time the 2 year old was having a temper tantrum and SCREECHING at the top of his lungs. No, not crying and general displeasure. THIS WAS AN ASSAULT. Mind you, I'm hard of hearing as it already is, but it was literally painful to my ears. Yes, PAINFUL. The hairdresser even whispered to me, "I'm so sorry." For the next ten minutes, it was a non-stop soundtrack of this, blared straight into my ears:


IN MY EAR. NON-STOP. NO BREAK.

Did the owner care?

Nope, not one-iota.

My ears rang for hours afterwards.

Do I have a problem with the owner's wife coming in? NO.
Do I have a problem with the toddler crying? NO.
Do I have a problem with the toddler screeching off in the distance of the shop? NO.

Do I have a problem with an assault on my ears and you don't have the self-awareness to tell your wife, "Gee honey, there's a customer here can you take little Bobby to the back? YES.

You see, your selfishness is what is costing you money. Your selfishness is why your business is freaking empty on Friday. Your selfishness is why you can't find an idea that doesn't fit into the "do what you love" bullshit.

Instead of putting his customer first, he put his convenience first.

Adios my friend.
Another series of Fastlane worthy shows might be Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares.
It's about the world renowned chef going into screwed-up restaurants and fixing them up. Not just their bad dishes, but also their service crew, kitchen cleanliness, stock management, design layout...almost like a business restructuring.
Some of the worst episodes where when the management just didn't give a damn about their customers....microwaved everything instead of cooking the food and leaving slop and grease around the kitchen were some of the worst instances.

Even in real life, my biggest pet peeves come from restaurants, probably another industry with the highest 'I don't give a F*ck' level.
There's an Indian restaurant down below my college accomadations which is pretty screwed up.
Cooks very inconsistently.
Their 'special fried rice' and chicken rice just look the damn same! Taste the same....it is as if I am ordering the same dishes!
And of course their food has sent me to the toilet not once, but twice!
Forget the convenience of an eatery nearby, if it's bad, it's bad.
Some businesses stay small businesses for a reason....

And don't forget washrooms in restaurants....
I have come across many places whose washrooms look like a slum, with grime, crevices that might be the welcome door of a mouse or lizard's home...and even worse, the toilet doesn't flush. Or the lid is missing, with the mechanisms replaced with a filthy plastic bottle.
I don't care whether the food is good there. If you don't have clean toilets, are the kitchens where you make the food going to be any cleaner?!
 

KrzyszWawrzyniak

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@Chitown True story...
The hairdresser seated me and I noticed the owner sitting in the barber chair next to me.

He was chit-chatting with a friend who was sitting nearby.

About five minutes into my cut, the owner's wife comes in with a 2 year old. She then proceeds to talk to the owner (behind my shoulder) for the rest of the duration of my cut.

No problem right?

Wrong.

The whole time the 2 year old was having a temper tantrum and SCREECHING at the top of his lungs. No, not crying and general displeasure. THIS WAS AN ASSAULT. Mind you, I'm hard of hearing as it already is, but it was literally painful to my ears. Yes, PAINFUL. The hairdresser even whispered to me, "I'm so sorry." For the next ten minutes, it was a non-stop soundtrack of this, blared straight into my ears:


IN MY EAR. NON-STOP. NO BREAK.

Did the owner care?

Nope, not one-iota.

My ears rang for hours afterwards.

I just wonder... Wouldn't it be easier if you just excuse hair dresser and ask the owner for taking his kid somewhere else?
 

JAJT

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As a customer I won't even let my kids scream at establishments.

I'll give them about 30 seconds to calm down and if they don't I pick them up and bring them outside where they can finish their tantrum without bothering anyone.

If I was the owner of the establishment, that time period wouldn't even be 30 seconds.

Sounds like the owner was 100% indifferent. Not just selfish but an owner who has just plainly given up.

I'd find somewhere else as well.
 

MJ DeMarco

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If I was the owner of the establishment, that time period wouldn't even be 30 seconds.

Well it started with just some whimpering and crying. No big deal, didn't even care. But after that, it was non stop screeching, something that could incapacitate approaching infantry. Ever have a fire alarm go off that was so loud, you ducked for cover? That was my experience.

To me this wasn't really any different than the owner's dog being allowed to bite my leg at will. Isn't it cute?

I came to get my haircut, not to get assaulted.
 
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Chitown

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How about it. Kids cry and scream. I get it. But this was so rude and disrespectful
@MJ DeMarco,

There is no excuse for this type of behavior. I swear...my lady and I talk about this this all the time. At the risk of sounding like an a$$ wipe - some folks have no business raising children, let alone procreating them.

True story, MJ!:smile2:

My lady was in Vegas, two years ago, celebrating her sister's birthday. I was left to care for the 20 year old step-daughter, the 6 year old and the 2 year old son. Well, we're at dinner when all of a sudden my 2 year old starts performing like there's a talent scout scoping him out from the next table! The patio is full of diners enjoying a beautiful night out and my youngest son wants to be an a**hole.

I discreetly let him know, that if he doesn't pipe down, pronto, he will spend the rest of his evening with Daddy in the family vehicle while his siblings finish their dinner. The quiet lasted all of 60 seconds before he turned it up several decibels. I snatched his little behind up, left my debit card with my step-daughter and took my little chocolate hell raiser out to the SUV.

We sat there all night as he yelled, "I hate you!", at the top of his lungs, from his car seat in the back. I kept telling him, "I love you, son." I didn't even take it personally. In fact, it didn't dawn on me until a week, or so, later that he was acting out because that night had been the first away from his mom. I empathized with him. However, that is no reason to let your children do anything they want, whenever they want.

Their mother and I are on the same page when it comes to instilling certain values in our boys. We don't want them to not be children. We also don't want them acting like complete jack-asses, either. Your barber's wife should have taken her child to the back room, out for a walk or back to her vehicle for a nap. Hell, the rugrat was probably hungry. But we'll never know. They just lost a longtime, loyal customer, though. We know that much.

Oh...we also know you can't fix stupid.
 

MiguelHammond10

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@Chitown True story...

So the barber I go to is a small shop that is usually empty. Even on Thursdays and Fridays when the place should pick up (due to men prepping for their weekend) the place is relatively empty. The place has a patchwork shop with zero branding, atmosphere, or anything. But they do a decent cut and it's not a chain. Support the small guy eh?

Due to its convenience to me and that fact that I never have to wait, I've been frequenting these folks for a few years, dozens and dozens of visits. Their prices are slightly above average, but since I value my time, I like walking in, getting a buzz, and leaving 15 minutes later.

On my last visit, it was empty again.

The hairdresser seated me and I noticed the owner sitting in the barber chair next to me.

He was chit-chatting with a friend who was sitting nearby.

About five minutes into my cut, the owner's wife comes in with a 2 year old. She then proceeds to talk to the owner (behind my shoulder) for the rest of the duration of my cut.

No problem right?

Wrong.

The whole time the 2 year old was having a temper tantrum and SCREECHING at the top of his lungs. No, not crying and general displeasure. THIS WAS AN ASSAULT. Mind you, I'm hard of hearing as it already is, but it was literally painful to my ears. Yes, PAINFUL. The hairdresser even whispered to me, "I'm so sorry." For the next ten minutes, it was a non-stop soundtrack of this, blared straight into my ears:


IN MY EAR. NON-STOP. NO BREAK.

Did the owner care?

Nope, not one-iota.

My ears rang for hours afterwards.

Do I have a problem with the owner's wife coming in? NO.
Do I have a problem with the toddler crying? NO.
Do I have a problem with the toddler screeching off in the distance of the shop? NO.

Do I have a problem with an assault on my ears and you don't have the self-awareness to tell your wife, "Gee honey, there's a customer here can you take little Bobby to the back? YES.

You see, your selfishness is what is costing you money. Your selfishness is why your business is freaking empty on Friday. Your selfishness is why you can't find an idea that doesn't fit into the "do what you love" bullshit.

Instead of putting his customer first, he put his convenience first.

Adios my friend.
As a Business Man and as a Business minded person, i will tell my wife to take the child out to calm him down, I will let her know that there is a customer. i really hate i don't care lifestyle.
 

cautiouscapy

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Many years ago, before the UK banned smoking in restaurants and pubs, a friend and I had a lady blow cigarette smoke on the table next to us all through lunch.

Being a little shy at the time we didn't ask her if she'd mind not smoking while we were eating.

As we paid the bill, we discovered she was the proprietor. Guess where we never went again.
 
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MJ DeMarco

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Their mother and I are on the same page when it comes to instilling certain values in our boys. We don't want them to not be children. We also don't want them acting like complete jack-asses, either. Your barber's wife should have taken her child to the back room, out for a walk or back to her vehicle for a nap. Hell, the rugrat was probably hungry. But we'll never know. They just lost a longtime, loyal customer, though. We know that much.

Thank you for having values and teaching your children that they're not the center of the universe.

As we paid the bill, we discovered she was the proprietor. Guess where we never went again.

The lack of self-awareness is astounding. And just think, these business owners are surviving and still in business. If they can survive being total a$$ wipes, imagine what a business owner can do with a modicum of self-reflection into what others need and want?

I gained confidence in entrepreneurship despite my early struggles when the company I worked for had bumbling idiots running the company. When I saw these guys could make it on their own, I knew I could.
 

G-Man

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@MJ DeMarco,

There is no excuse for this type of behavior. I swear...my lady and I talk about this this all the time. At the risk of sounding like an a$$ wipe - some folks have no business raising children, let alone procreating them.

True story, MJ!:smile2:

My lady was in Vegas, two years ago, celebrating her sister's birthday. I was left to care for the 20 year old step-daughter, the 6 year old and the 2 year old son. Well, we're at dinner when all of a sudden my 2 year old starts performing like there's a talent scout scoping him out from the next table! The patio is full of diners enjoying a beautiful night out and my youngest son wants to be an a**hole.

I discreetly let him know, that if he doesn't pipe down, pronto, he will spend the rest of his evening with Daddy in the family vehicle while his siblings finish their dinner. The quiet lasted all of 60 seconds before he turned it up several decibels. I snatched his little behind up, left my debit card with my step-daughter and took my little chocolate hell raiser out to the SUV.

We sat there all night as he yelled, "I hate you!", at the top of his lungs, from his car seat in the back. I kept telling him, "I love you, son." I didn't even take it personally. In fact, it didn't dawn on me until a week, or so, later that he was acting out because that night had been the first away from his mom. I empathized with him. However, that is no reason to let your children do anything they want, whenever they want.

Their mother and I are on the same page when it comes to instilling certain values in our boys. We don't want them to not be children. We also don't want them acting like complete jack-asses, either. Your barber's wife should have taken her child to the back room, out for a walk or back to her vehicle for a nap. Hell, the rugrat was probably hungry. But we'll never know. They just lost a longtime, loyal customer, though. We know that much.

Oh...we also know you can't fix stupid.

LOLed here. Had to discipline my 11 month old in public for the first time. He was bullying other little kids and taking their shit at this birthday party. He's too young to be malicious, but he doesn't grasp that he's not the center of the universe yet. I said his name loudly followed by a "no", and took the toy away from him, and gave it back to the other little kid. What was surprising is that the other parents clearly thought I overreacted, and then start pandering to my kid and giving him other toys.

How am I supposed to raise a kid that's not an a**hole when other people go out of their way to enable that behavior?

@Chitown it makes me feel better to know there are others out there trying to fight the exhausting good fight.
 
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Like a lot of businesses the hairdresser is still scratching his head wondering why there's no customers. It reminds me of a burger joint that opened near me a couple years back. The place was somewhat busy at first. They spent tons of money remodeling the whole place. Unfortunately they did everything they could wrong. My burger was undercooked one time and overcooked another. I would have to wait one hour for my burger and they would have cold fries. They mailed out coupons and then didn't honor them. While I was waiting they were arguing with a customer. The last straw was when I saw a sign on the window that said "closed by health dept. due to cockroach infestation."

Later I bought a burger at a competitor and was walking back home passing the re-opened burger place with the owner outside. The owner looked at me and asked why I got an overpriced burger at the competitor. I told her that her burgers are very expensive because I wouldn't be able to work for five days after which would cost me $250. She said the cockroaches were from the neighboring stores. Then I told her that the cockroaches were from not cleaning the floor/dishes. She was pissed and told me to never step foot in her store again and slammed the door screaming.

The burger joint went out a few weeks later and a hot dog store took it's place making the same kind of mistakes. Then that hot dog store went out and a big chain store opened up and has been there ever since. It seems that people are too stupid to know that food shouldn't be completely burnt and that there shouldn't be cockroaches crawling all over the kitchen.
 
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Joe Cassandra

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I love burgers wayyy more than chicken...

Seriously, my last meal would be an endless chain of Big Macs.

But, we go to Chick-Fil-A 4-5x per month compared to 1x at Mickey D's simply because those teens they hire at CFA are the freakin' nicest kids you'll ever meet.

I'd adopt every kid who works there. They're always smiling and happy to help (especially if you have kids with you).

McDonalds?

They act like they're heading to the electric chair after their shift is over.
 

Chitown

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I'd adopt every kid who works there. They're always smiling and happy to help (especially if you have kids with you).

@Joe Cassandra,

My lady and I have noticed the same - our boys love CFA. We have a burger chain here called In-N-Out Burger. From a personality standpoint you can interchange their employees with CFA's and not skip a beat. HR hires very well at both those enterprises.
 
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Chitown

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LOLed here. Had to discipline my 11 month old in public for the first time. He was bullying other little kids and taking their shit at this birthday party. He's too young to be malicious, but he doesn't grasp that he's not the center of the universe yet. I said his name loudly followed by a "no", and took the toy away from him, and gave it back to the other little kid. What was surprising is that the other parents clearly thought I overreacted, and then start pandering to my kid and giving him other toys.

How am I supposed to raise a kid that's not an a**hole when other people go out of their way to enable that behavior?

@Chitown it makes me feel better to know there are others out there trying to fight the exhausting good fight.
@G-Man

Hilarious!!!!

Good for you! You showed your son that you will not indulge jacked up behavior. When you don't give children boundaries they will resent you for it, later on. I can't tell you how many conversations I've had with friends who hate the fact that their parents never disciplined them in some sort of way. They took it as a sign that the parents did not care for them.

And with regard to the folks at the birthday party - who feel you overreacted - and began handing your 11 month old toys after it was clear you disciplined him? We'd have ourselves a little "Come to Jesus" meeting, right then and there. That's the kind of permissiveness, in my opinion, that leads to that f--k head Stanford rapist doing what he did. His dad proclaiming, "I don't think his life should be ruined over 20 minutes of action.", was a prime example of what I call "dip-shit parenting". This notion that your child's behavior should be tolerated and defended, no matter how egregious or heinous.

We don't play that crap in the Russell household. Yessir, G-Man. We keep fighting that exhausting good fight!:)
 

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10 years ago I got a hair trimmer for $20. It's still going strong.

I cut my own hair twice a month. Takes about 15-20 min, including clean up.

Just a thought, especially if what you're doing is pretty simple.
I ended up doing the same last year.
The barber who has cut my hair since I was in middle school was diagnosed with cancer.
He had already began passing the shop over to his son before the bad news. So the change of hands was expedited.
The last time I saw him he was gaunt but still trying to work but I could tell he wouldn't be able to keep it up for long.
He was usually quick except when he started on one of his controversial conspiracy rants which were always amusing. His time suffered because he'd stop to school someone on some subject.
But that last visit he was very slow and struggled to do the usual stuff like turn the chair.
It hurt my heart to see him that way and not the vibrate man I grew up seeing year around.
I didn't like his son's attitude and work ethic so giving him my business in place of his dad was a no go.
Haven't check in on my barber in a long while.
I should call him or his son to see how his condition is.
I hope he's doing well.
 

MJ DeMarco

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I posted this in another thread w/respect to the value array.

Here:


I tried a new barber shop this week.

I went at a time when I thought the place would be empty with no wait.

I walked in and it was just me and another man with his daughter.

Two haircutters were cutting hair.

At the desk was a sign-in computer. I almost missed it but figured out that I need to sign in. The interface was pretty self-explanatory, so no worries there.

After signing in, it said I was next and that my wait was 10 minutes.

I ended up waiting over an hour.

What happened?

The man who was there (before me) did NOT sign in. He didn't see the sign-in kiosk.

When it was my turn on the computer, he threw a hissy fit. So the hairdressers took him and his daughter first. I didn't have a problem with that because he was there before me.

But the execution of this "system" was piss poor.

In the hour I waited, I counted at least 10 other people who came in. Some signed in. Others did not. One after another, customers came in and looked confused. Other's got frustrated and left. I saw 4 who exited.

The place was grossly understaffed.

The hairdressers did NOTHING to inform customers of the shop's process -- they just hoped that they saw the sign in.

In that hour I waited, I'd estimate this shop lost nearly $100. How much are they losing in the entire day? The week? The month? Could be $10K/mo, all due to poor execution.

Like the barber shop before this, I will unlikely go back. (And I haven't even discussed the haircut -- the main product!)

This is the essence of the value array and how it is dissected to provide relative value.

Any thing that can be improved or differentiated can be skewed positively to provide incremental value.

You see, I don't have an ideas! is an excuse.

Wherever there is a lack of fluidity in a product or its delivery, you have the foundation for a business.
 
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Invictus

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I love burgers wayyy more than chicken...

Seriously, my last meal would be an endless chain of Big Macs.

But, we go to Chick-Fil-A 4-5x per month compared to 1x at Mickey D's simply because those teens they hire at CFA are the freakin' nicest kids you'll ever meet.

I'd adopt every kid who works there. They're always smiling and happy to help (especially if you have kids with you).

McDonalds?

They act like they're heading to the electric chair after their shift is over.

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TheRegalMachine

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I had a boss who openly admitted to saying "thank you" over and over to Chick-fil-a employees just to make them say "My pleasure". They're obligated to give that response so he abused the hell out of it. I thought he was a huge cunt for this, even more so because he works in the restaurant industry and screwing with employees at any establishment just to get off isn't cool.
Anyway the reason why Chick-fil-a employees are so pleasant is because the company demands it.
When you demand a level of quality or customer service at your core you tend to get that from the top down.
McDonald's doesn't give a shit about quality customer service because even if the cashier is a humongous dick most people will still pay and take the food. As long as they get their money who cares if What's her name is rude to customers.
You can't appreciate what you never experienced and I doubt most McDonald's customers have experienced the Chick-fil-a customer service policy first hand or they're just use to shit service thus don't care.
 

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