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Good Plan, Poor Execution

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Communication is difficult

Communication is difficult

I had another poor customer service experience and I thought I would share it with you so that you may learn something from it.  These business lessons seem to happen too frequently in my opinion.  I wonder if I have bad luck; or is this a common experience for today’s consumer?

This is the story.  I took notice of an advertisement that a large publicly traded grocery store was introducing this spring about ordering online from the deli.  After seeing it for a week or more, I suggested to my wife that we try it out on a Saturday night.  She agreed and we ordered a spinach wrap with turkey and an Italian sub on whole wheat.  We customized our selections and placed the order for pick up in 30 minutes at our nearest store location.

I thought to myself, that it was a good thing Al Gore invented the internet so I could take advantage of this magic from my couch.  I chose pickles, black olives, cucumber, lettuce, tomato, green peppers, banana peppers, salt, pepper, oregano, oil and vinegar.  I was delighted with my selections and could not wait to dive in and try this flavorful sandwich.

When we arrived to dash in and dash out with our food, we were puzzled that our food was not waiting for us in the special place designed for our order.  After awhile, a manager came by and asked us if he could help us and we explained that we were waiting for our order we place that was supposed to be ready at 8:10 PM.  It was now 8:15 and there was no sign of our food.  He checked the printer and there was our order, being ignored by the folks behind the counter.  He took the order and got someone to work on it for us.  We got our food 17 minutes later and he did not charge us to compensate for the error.  I would have preferred that we had the time back that we wasted.

The advertising worked but the execution at the store level failed miserably.  It is obvious that there was a communication breakdown in the roll out of the new advertising campaign.  Was it the fault of the management team to explain the new program or was it the deli employees fault in understanding the new plan and how they were to respond to the orders coming in from Al Gore’s internet?

My suggestion is to make sure you have a good communication plan for new processes and procedures.  Remember that communication has to be understood in the same way by the sender and the receiver for it to be successful.  Have your “receivers” repeat back to you what the new process or procedure is, in their own words, to make sure that everyone is on the same page.  Is it that hard to do?  How many people work in the deli 15 or 20?  It is not an impossible task.

Have a great week.


Written by pacelinebiz

June 12, 2016 at 8:01 am

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