McDonald’s Customer Service Is ‘Broken,’ Company Executive Says

McDonald’s customer service is “broken,” an executive said in a webcast to franchises last month.

The company had been plagued by bad reviews from customers, with complaints related to workers’ attitudes up 20 percent. The top complaint about McDonald’s customer service was about “rude or unprofessional employees” while complaints about long food waits increased significantly in the last six months, a Wall Street Journal report found.

Outside analysis confirmed the problems. Research firm Technomic found that of the 10 largest fast-food chains, McDonald’s ranked last in the “friendly, pleasant service” category. Another poll from YouGov brought more mixed results to McDonald’s, but still showed customer service problems.

The company’s CEO Don Thompson told investors at the company’s quarterly conference call in January that it was working to improve customer service at all levels.

McDonald’s has already gotten started on the customer service overhaul. The company recently announced it was adding new positions to help with things like getting sauce packets and Happy Meal toys.

The new position, called a “runner,” will hand out cups and other tasks that help improve customer service, Jargon writes. This will also clear up cashiers to take the time to thank customers after a transaction rather than fetching food themselves.

This measure is also meant to help improve loyalty among the mostly low-paid employees.

“Let’s say I’m in front at the register and the grill’s not pushing out food quickly enough. So you have to wait on food, and the customer is getting aggravated at you because you’re not giving them the food quick enough, and the grill gets aggravated with the cashier because we’re asking where the food is,” a McDonald’s employee told Jargon.

McDonald’s said it is committed to addressing these customer service complaints but told NBCNews.com that it is not addressing the leaked information.

Company analysts say McDonald’s commitment to customer service seems to be serious, though there can be challenges implementing change within the franchise system.