KFC and Pizza Hut staff get manic

Next time you drop in for a pizza or finger lickin' good chicken on your way home, see if you can spot whether you are getting full-on maniacal service.

‘Give me a Y — ‘Y’ — give me a U — ‘U’ — give me an M — ‘M’ — what do you get? ‘YUM!’’

No, not a troupe of Californian cheerleaders singing about their favourite quarterback’s arse; this was a conference full of Pizza Hut and Kentucky Fried Chicken counter staff learning how to become maniacal about customer service.

American motivational-babble has never translated well in the Middle East. It is rare indeed for groups of Indian, Filipino and Lebanese employees to bang out a company anthem, salute the corporate flag and high-five senior executives with any kind of conviction.

But sing, salute and slap they did at last month’s Customer Mania workshop and CHAMPS challenge for Dubai’s KFC and Pizza Hut employees. The ‘Yum Cheer’ was even given two renditions — the second of which was delivered with ear-splitting passion. By the end of the three-hour session, the room was full of true Customer Maniacs.

But what does that mean to us, the punters? To answer that question you must first understand what type of punter you are. Are you a ‘promoter,’ for example, who will happily recommend KFC or Pizza Hut to friends; are you a ‘regular,’ who returns for pizza or chicken again and again out of habit. At the other end of the scale, you could be a ‘refuser,’ who has had such a bad experience you will not return in a hurry.

Whether you are promoter or a refuser, Tricon, the parent company of KFC and Pizza Hut, has a strategy to keep you happy. Next time you are in one of these outlets, see if you can tick-off the following techniques being used on you:

Smile and greet customers

Follow brand-standard recipes

Make food hot and fresh

Double-check orders

Help with small children

Stay positive

Help teammates

Thank each other

Be on time

And if all this fails to satisfy, they have a plan to deal with unhappy customers called LAST: Listen (to the complaint), Apologise (even if the customer is wrong), Satisfy (by binning the original order and replacing it quickly with a fresh one), and Thank the customer for pointing out the error.

Above all, KFC and Pizza Hut staff in Dubai have been trained to be maniacs about customer service. You have been warned.

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