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Customer Service 101: KFC, Please Buck Up Your First Level Customer Service!

Customer Service Fast Food KFC

What constitutes good customer service? According to this website, there are 8 rules that need to adhere to if a business wants to provide good customer service with the very first rule being to answer your phone. Infographic source: The Balance

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Time For Some Fried Chicken

Fried Chicken Food KFC

We do not usually order fried chickens from fast-food restaurants often namely because we can fry fresh chickens at home which is less oiler, healthier and taste better. Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

Once in a while, to allow my HEO (house executive officer) to take a rest from the stress of cooking (actually the stress of identifying what to cook than the actual cooking), we will opt to order delivery or pickup from the near restaurants.

So a couple of days ago, we decided to buy chicken meals from KFC since it has been some time since we ordered from this franchise.

Firstly what is being advertised on their webpage is not available when we actually click on the menu to order. Chicken burgers totally are missing from the menu despite it is listed as a standard meal. Perhaps the KFC restaurant that is the nearest to my residential address has run out of burger buns or their staff is not trained to pack burgers.

Anyway, that was not the big issue here as our main orders are primarily on fried chickens even though the available side orders is limited and is not really creative. McDonald on the other hand has better options for delivery services.

It is not the first time I am ordering online from KFC’s website but it was the first time I opt to pay via eWallet. When I about to pay, the message on my eWallet showed that I was above the daily limit which prompted me to click to increase the daily limit before I could pay for the meals. It took longer to conclude the payment but it went through and I got the receipt in my email.

But then the website still showed as pending payment and no order ID been generated. I knew that I got screwed with the payment.

Personal Service Experience

Foodpanda KFC food delivery

KFC or the Kentucky Fried Chicken is an international franchise, with proper procedures for refunds and they have been around in Malaysia since the 1970s. Photo by Khaled Hossain from Pexels

Considering I have made the payment for an order that did not go through, I was confident that the refund will not be an issue. Boy, I was in for a rude wake-up call.

Firstly I could not get hold of anyone using the 1-300 customer service numbers – it seems to be out of order. So I checked the KFC website for alternative and decided to direct message them on Twitter.

In the past, I have found excellent customer support via Twitter-like in the case of the cancelled TAP flight to Cape Verde in 2019 as it becomes almost like an instant message. I also used to tweet for assistance to other airlines, telco and utility companies whenever I need immediate support and they would often come back within minutes. Those established ones like Emirates where their response is immediate even do follow up after few days to ensure that I am happy with their services.

So I tried to tweet KFC’s customer service on their Twitter profile – I gave them a short description of the incident and attached a copy of the payment receipt. Regret to say that there has not been any response to my tweet todate. It seems like it is as good as one need not tweet anything in the first place.

I saw there were active comments on their Facebook page so I tried my luck with their messenger but although I managed to get a response, it was nothing but a bot response, designed to answer back on the keywords on questions posed. Not really useful in my case.

So I went back to the 1-300 customer support number although I noted that there was a feedback form on the website but I did not know when this would be responded to. It took a couple of tries before someone answered my call. I could immediately feel that whoever on the other side of the line was not a dedicated customer service officer.

The reply was crude and rushed. It took some time before the person came back and just informed me that I need to wait between 7 to 21 days before I get the refund.

There was no request to raise any official support ticket or email so I asked the person how I can follow up on the refund (I was not even sure if our conversations were recorded). The person casually asked me to call the same 1-300 number and mention my mobile number as the reference number. I was not so convinced that the message was taken down correctly so I added the same details in the feedback form which generates a proper support ticket.

History of Bad Customer Service

It looks like KFC’s bad customer service is nothing new seeing the various comments on the Facebook and Twitter pages.

Buck Up Before Blacklisted

This is not the first time I had problems with orders from KFC – previously there was a delay in the delivery and no one called me back on the delay. Nonetheless, although our dinner was delivered very late, it was delivered nonetheless.

For the records, I got back the refund within 5 days of my complaint, however, it is not about the refund or the quantum although the money that was wrongly deducted is not small. The bigger issue is initial bad customer service.

It is not easy to even contact the customer service representatives to raise the support tickets despite the many channels advertised on their website from 1-300 number, Facebook and Twitter.  And we do manage to get through, there is no a sense of urgency and empathy on the customer’s complaints. The impression that I got was one of being reluctant to handle my complaints – the guy on the other line just wanted to take my complaint and finish the call.

This first level of customer service certainly must be improved if the business wishes to keep its customers. Please remember, customers, do not need to go to KFC for their fried chickens as there are other fast-food franchises who also serves the similar dish. The deciding factor would be others which include first-rate customer service.

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