Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Fast food call centers...

So this evening on NPR I heard a pretty interesting story.

Somewhere out west (Oregon? Colorado?), a fast food franchise (McDonalds?) actually runs its drive-through lane via call center. This is no joke. You use your cell phone to call a call center; the order is taken and sent back to the McDonalds instantly; you drive up to the window, pay, and get your food.

They have had some great results. They've gotten the average order-to-food-pickup time down to something like 2 minutes and 10 seconds, and the average price of orders has increased by 19 cents. No, they haven't raised prices or anything, but because the people taking the orders don't actually have to prepare the food, they are able to hire professional sales people to work the call center calls (making $7/hour). These call center agents are just better at handling calls than the average McDonald's employee, and they have better results getting people to buy deserts and other items with their orders.

Pretty weird stuff.

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