I was out for a quick afternoon snack and stopped by a local Jack In The Box. I looked over the items and pulled up to the microphone to place my order. I was greeted, “Welcome to the world’s best Jack In The Box. How may I help you?”
I laughed at the greeting. Had I somehow stumbled on what was indeed the best Jack In The Box restaurant in the world? Or had I stopped in at a fast-food restaurant, which thought of itself as the embodiment of the world’s best Jack In The Box? Or, had I (which was most likely) simply chanced upon a very sarcastic employee? Over the microphone and speaker communications system, you would think that sarcasm would be easy to detect, and yet I was coming up with zero indicators. I would have to wait for a face-to-face meeting to decide on the intent of the greeting.
I pulled up to the service window. A friendly face took my money, gave out my order, and wished me a good day. There was no sarcasm. There was only efficiency and a genuine friendliness. Her name was Carmen.
As I drove away I promised myself to send an email to corporate headquarters of Jack In The Box. I did, and received a standard reply thanking me for my comments, which they promised to pass along to the restaurant. I never heard any more. I’ve gone to other Jack In The Box restaurants, and they’ve presented no claim of being the best in the world, so I’m left with the feeling that perhaps this was the best in the world.
It’s not often that I visit this particular restau- rant, but I have several times since the initial incident. One time I got the same clerk and was charmed again by her delivery. At other times I was greeted by friendly people, but without the belief that this was indeed the World’s Best Jack In The Box. I stopped by recently and was charmed by another clerk. He didn’t use the same phrasing, but from his voice there was an element of belief.
I think what I experienced was a moment in time when this was indeed the World’s Best Jack In The Box . . . and perhaps it still is each time Carmen is present. I don’t know that my accolades were ever passed along, but in a world of customer service complaints I hope that she received my complimentary comments. Encouragement is sometimes everything for front-line service workers.
There is a glimmer of hope that Carmen had a hand in training and passed along her enthusiasm and her passion to her fellow workers that she somehow worked for The World’s Best Jack In The Box, and they do, too.
I think we should all have the belief that we work with the best people and provide the best service and best products in the best organization for the best industry in the world, and we should share those beliefs and feelings with our fellow employees . . . as well as our clients.
A customer service article by Don Doman