Monday, 8 March 2010

Can Refusing a Customer Create Goodwill? Yes, it did for me.

With the worldwide recall of cars by most major auto companies... i thought of this personal anecdote, which has far-reaching repercussions for the business in question, apart from the Management Principles it illustrates.

I was at the outlet of a well-known fast-food business, and when I reached the counter, I ordered a specific burger “X” from the brand representative.

The brand representative, looked at his inventory monitor, and said, “I have one burger X …but would you please wait a second?” – he asked sincerely, as if I had a choice.

So I waited…

He went to the back of the store and came back in about 15 seconds, and said, “I am extremely sorry sir, but I will not be able to serve you a burger X, please choose some other item…”

“But why?” I interjected vehemently, “You just told me you HAD one!” I exclaimed loudly.

“Sir, you are right, I have one burger X,” replied the brand rep, “But I’m very sorry, I will not serve it, as it has been over 30 minutes, since it was cooked, please choose some other item…”

I was amazed!

Since then, I have been an ardent fan, follower and propagator of this fast-food establishment. Their (1) customer courtesy & (2) speed of response, (3) the business’ QC and (4) frontline employee empowerment, have created Brand Loyalty by Refusing a Customer.

(5) Admitting an error or mistake, and taking extraordinary remedial measures, can actually improve customer loyalty.

What other Management Principles do you find?


End Note: Obesity is the curse of the Middle Class… who work their ass off, but don’t have the time to work their abs off.


  1. Ok,...this being my first time commenting on any blog ever... I hope this gets posted. I really liked this story. And i would have been equally thrilled if someone had tried to save me from eating stale food. (considering i have been the victim of food poisoning many-a-time). And knowing you sweet brother, I am pretty sure I can guess what this fast food chain is. Why don't you mention the name? After all you are saying something really nice about them. love you lots. Great blog!

  2. Thats really amazing..i wonder why dont we have other companies following the same 'customer satisfaction' funda. Customer satisfaction, in our country, is terribly lacking. There are foreign investors coming in, but no one is bothered about how they should treat their customers. Its sad..
    At this time, hearing such experiences is simply amazing. but let us know the name of the food chain..