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The PJ Tatler

by
Scott Ott

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August 29, 2014 - 6:22 am

Because this experience is so rare, not only did I visit TellTheBell.com to answer their customer-service survey — something I never do — but I just came in from the mailbox (yes, the snail-mail box) where I placed this letter, and put up the red flag for the postman. I share it with you now, as I would a visit to a fine museum, an inspiring concert, or a thrilling spectator sport.

Taco Bell 022872, 11829 Abrams Rd., Dallas, TX 75243

To the Manager,

I had such an experience at your restaurant drive-through yesterday, I had to take a moment to let you know. Over the years, I have worked in customer service, in restaurants, in sales and in customer-service training. My family frequently visits Taco Bell and other fast-food places.

But yesterday was far and away the finest drive-through experience I have had…even better than Chik-fil-A, which was the previous standard-bearer.

Laquiata H. (as her name appears on my receipt), greeted me through the speaker with a clear and cheerful voice. She immediately let me know that she was ready to serve when I was ready to order, no hurry. This little touch I found immediately endearing and comforting. Drive-throughs always feel rushed, menus are complicated and, if you don’t have perfect vision, difficult to read. (BTW, the small type on yours meant that we had to read the choices aloud to my wife in the passenger seat, inevitably fouling your speed stats.)

Laquiata was an island of peace and happiness in a hectic day. When we got to the window, she greeted us with a smile. When she handed us our food, she repeated the order clearly to eliminate errors. That little gesture made me feel like she really cared about us, and wanted us to have a terrific experience.

I don’t know if you realize how extraordinary this is in your industry. I have come to loathe drive-throughs, with their squawk boxes, fast-talking, inarticulate automatons, and frequent errors. Most folks in this line of work seem more concerned with getting rid of you, than with serving you.

Please convey my gratitude to Laquiata, and the support team that made it possible for her to be the voice and face of joyful welcome.

She singled-handedly turned a commodity into a work of art.

Thank You,

Scott Ott

One of the things that makes America great is folks like Laquiata, who bring this attitude to work each day.

Capitalism, after all, isn’t about prices, and markets, and margins, and finance.

It’s about people, and beauty, and emotion, and excellence, and human need, and joy, and love and liberty.

All of that other stuff is just mechanism.

This is heart.

This is real.

Scott Ott co-hosts a news, commentary and humor show called Trifecta on PJTV. He created and hosted the 20-part series on the Constitution titled Freedom's Charter. His satire site, ScrappleFace, spawned three books and praise from Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Mark Levin and many others.
Top Rated Comments   
Thanks for this, Mr. Ott. It's easy to forget just how important it is to stop and truly appreciate those "little" things that make a world of difference - rather than taking it for granted when people do well, and becoming angry and impatient when they don't.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (4)
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This is awesome.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Chicken Express in the small city of Seguin TX long ago disconnected its squawk box at the drive through.

Instead, the mostly teen staff walk out to my car and personally take my order. No note pads, they simply remember the order, and I can't recall them ever goofing it up. They have the menu and all its options memorized as well, so they can answer questions about it. They are always bright and friendly, and there are no static or disembodied unintelligible voices to deal with. They have enough kids on hand that they can take the orders of everyone in line, instead of having to wait for a turn at the squawk box.

If my order turns out to be ready faster than the cars ahead of me, they will bring it out and take my money, instead of letting it sit on the counter until my car gets to the window. This is really fast when all I wanted was a drink.

Your article reminds me I should make this know directly to the owners/manager of that establishment.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
Little things matter and I am glad this experience is being marked.
Drive-thrus are probably especially vulnerable to the factory service approach because the people who use the drive-thru are typically in a hurry. There are also often serious back-ups at drive-thrus, so a lot of people in a hurry may appreciate speed more than the small touches.
By the way, although it may say "drive-through window", they really mean "drive right up by the window." As I found out.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
Thanks for this, Mr. Ott. It's easy to forget just how important it is to stop and truly appreciate those "little" things that make a world of difference - rather than taking it for granted when people do well, and becoming angry and impatient when they don't.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
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