You answer the phone and hear “I’m calling to check on a pizza that was ordered over an hour ago and it’s still not here yet”.
You look in your POS and see the pizza was ordered exactly 29 minutes ago, and it’s actually on the road to the customer.
What do you say?
That is a real tough one. If you reply your call display shows they called 29 minutes ago you are basicly are calling the customer a liar (which seems to be true but not nice). You are in a no win situation. I think the best way to deal with this is to say something like “Your order is on its way and you can rest assured that it will be hot” anything more than that will get you nowhere fast.
We usually tell them what time it was that they ordered and that it is on the road and should arrive any minute.
I have only had one time that a customer seriously disputed his order time, and I was giving the order for free anyway because the time was much longer than quoted, but much less than what he claimed. Typically they say something "really , I guess it just seemed like it has been longer’ or just a plain “Oh”. Most of the time they just want to know its on the way. It’s not good to call the customer a liar, but it is also not good for a customer to think, and tell his freinds that it took over an hour when, if fact, it took 31 minutes.
We always tell them how long its actually been. People get irritable and impatient when they’re hungry. 99.5% of the time they are ok once they know how long its actually been since the order time is imprinted on the receipt.
In past 2 1/2 years only had two problems. One just ignored what we said and wanted a discount (which we just did) and the other started to argue that her phone said differently. So, we just dropped the discussion and let her know it was on her way. The point was made we keep track of the times – no win in arguing the matter . . .
I firmly believe you have to let them know the correct time, however. Otherwise they will assume you are late and hold it against you and whoever they tell.
I agree that arguing is pointless and will only strain the relationship with the customer. I would lead in with something like:
I am sorry sir/ma’am. Our computer tracking shows that order was taken at 7:32, and that we just sent the driver out with your hot pizzas at 8:01. He should be there any minute, and I am sorry for making you wait. If you are unhappy at all about those pizzas when they get there, I would really appreciate your calling back right away so we can make it right.
I want to set them up with the expectation that we will do everything in our reasonable power to make them happy. That is usually enough for most people. If it is a regular customer whom I know well, I would playfully confront them about exaggerating the time and then admit understanding that it seems like forever when you have to wait for one of our spectacular pizzas.
We find that people who call claiming they ordered “over an hour ago” and we see that it was far less than this are chronic complainers about how long it is taking to be delivered.
We tell them how long deliveries are going to be when they order and log the time accordingly on the order.
If they phone to complain we politely, and in a friendly manner, tell them that the ordered at 7.32 and the delivery time quoted was 50 minutes. It is 8.02 and your order is just going in the oven and will be to you within the quoted time. We mostly add a line like " it can really seems ages when you are waiting for your delivery, especially if there is nothing good on TV, doesn’t it".
I don’t think telling them the facts is calling them a liar.
Telling them that it is on the road now when it is still not even cooked is not on because they will complain then expect it within a couple of minutes. Also I will never put a complainers order before anyone elses just to get it to them faster at the expense of others who ordered long before them.
I find these “time” complainers tend to be bully types who want their order when they want it and not what they have been quoted and think that if they complain and harass us they will get it faster.
I completely agree.
I have no problem politely telling the customer when they ordered according to our POS, and most often, the pies are already on the road when they call, and that’s well within the time frame.
I ask them to call me back in 10 minutes if the order hasn’t arrived so I can check on the driver, so they know that we are a “team” in making their pizza experience awesome.
For some reason, knowing they should call back in “just 10 minutes” if it’s not there lets them know the food is really close by, and diffuses a lot of situations.
All delivery times we quote are approximate.
I have a theory that a lot of customers will combine the time they THOUGHT about placing the order to the actual PLACING of the order thereby making their wait time seem longer than it really is.
Also customers will call to inquire about the whereabouts of their pizza based on the lowest delivery time quoted. In other words if they were quoted a 35 - 50 minute delivery time, they will call around the 40 minute mark wondering where their pizza is.
I have no qualms about informing the customer when their order was placed and the time they were quoted for delivery. Sometimes I’ll try to placate the customer by calling the driver to see how close he/she is.
People who call claiming their pizza is overdue when in fact it’s nowhere near being late get little to no sympathy from me. And forget about discounts! I don’t reward impatience!
That said, if a pizza is extremely late and can be verified (15 min to a half hour or longer from the maximum time quoted) I will either offer a substantial discount, a credit for future use, comp the pizza if they still want it or a combination of a few things like comp the pizza and offer a credit.
Hooray. Someone that thinks like me