Friday, April 25, 2008

McDonald's and Customer Service in Russia

While visiting the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia (in Moscow) yesterday, President Andrew Sommers told our group a wonderful story that really captures the old Soviet-era mentality towards customer service.

When McDonald's opened its first restaurant in the Soviet Union in 1990 near Moscow's Pushkin Square (pictured above, still the largest McDonald's in the world, with 27 cash registers and seating capacity of 700), it went through an extensive training program for the new workers. Of course, customer service, which was a brand new concept for the Soviets, was extensively emphasized for the new McDonald's employees.

After several days of training about customer service at McDonald's, a young Soviet teenager asked the McDonald's trainer a very serious question: "Why do we have to be so nice to the customers? After all, WE have the hamburgers, and they don't!"

There's still a little bit of that mentality left in Russia, and although customer service here is still not up to US standards, it's gotten much better than my last visit in 2003.

11 Comments:

At 4/25/2008 9:56 PM, Anonymous The Masked Millionaire said...

"Why do we have to be so nice to the customers? After all, WE have the hamburgers, and they don't!"

If you have been in a McDonald's in the USA recently you would swear the people behind the counter have the same thoughts as their Russian counterparts..

 
At 4/27/2008 1:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

TRUE

 
At 4/27/2008 2:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The best thing about McDonalds customer service is when you're hungry at say 4am. You go to McDonalds, and it takes them 15 minutes just to use the intercom, and then when they tell you to pull around the drive thru, they hide until the customer gets angry and leaves.

 
At 4/27/2008 2:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The best thing about McDonalds customer service is when you're hungry at say 4am. You go to McDonalds, and it takes them 15 minutes just to use the intercom, and then when they tell you to pull around the drive thru, they hide until the customer gets angry and leaves.

 
At 4/27/2008 2:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

in the United States, that is

 
At 4/27/2008 3:25 PM, Blogger Paerty said...

"Because they have the money and we don't!"

 
At 4/27/2008 3:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The best thing about McDonalds customer service is when you're hungry at say 4am. You go to McDonalds, and it takes them 15 minutes just to use the intercom, and then when they tell you to pull around the drive thru, they hide until the customer gets angry and leaves."

That's because they're as stoned as you are.

 
At 4/27/2008 4:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to love McDonalds as a kid. But that was a long time ago. Some years back they changed the way they cooked their burgers -- no grill anymore. Their burgers these days are just disgusting. Breakfast is good, if you find a franchise that actually hires good employees.

 
At 5/02/2008 8:26 AM, Anonymous yoyo said...

Why don't McDonald open more stores in Russia?

 
At 8/23/2008 11:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, the customer srvs also depends from the area you live in. In the good neiborhood you will find a nice, clean ,customer friendly place. We have really nice one ( clean, fireplace, modern design, etc), Oooh ,forgot to sa: we live in Midwest ,and people here have good hostility ,not like in big cities and east coast or west coast (i visited some states, belive me).

 
At 4/03/2009 2:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Why do we have to be so nice to the customers? After all, WE have the hamburgers, and they don't!"


The proper answer here is "no, they have money, WE don't."

 

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