What do you get when you cross bad fries with a bad customer?
You’ve probably heard about the San Antonio man that pulled out a sword, threatening damage if he didn’t get free tacos at a Mexican food restaurant, but have you heard about the Paris man who had a McDonald’s biggie-sized meltdown?
According to The Local, over the weekend, an angry customer drove through a McDonald’s near Paris, and upon receiving cold fries, he pulled out an axe, got out of his van, and shattered the glass at the drive-thru window.
The 26-year old customer was displeased with the employees’ response when he noted his fries were cold, and responded aggressively, in the end, throwing his axe into the drive thru window as a final middle finger to the franchise.
The man fled the scene, and was ultimately tracked down and taken into custody by French police. One McDonald’s employee did not go to the hospital, but received care for cuts to the face from the shattered glass flying into the restaurant window.
How could this have gone differently?
While customer service might be quite different in France than America, the truth is that all businesses are vulnerable to disgruntled customers. In this case, the customer felt provoked and ignored by the franchise’s response to his request for the proper product he had paid for.
This could have gone differently, as with any customer service situation that quickly escalates, by employing some basic empathy. Would it have been easier to just give the man fries that weren’t cold? Yes, but if the employee felt strongly that they just gave him a good product, the minimum response should have been that of empathy, perhaps an apology and a comment along the lines of “that has happened to me before, let me see how I can fix this,” or “please pull ahead or come in and I will get a manager to help you promptly.”
Upsetting people can’t always be avoided, but escalating them by lacking empathy can.