How To Tell When You’re Doing It Wrong

by Jason Falls |

Social media marketing is all about businesses having conversations with their customers. In many industries this era is the first in which brands have actually listened rather than trumpeted their hype from the tallest billboards and loudest channels. That listening is opening the eyes of brand managers, CMOs and CEOs everywhere.

Dairy Queen -- Remember The BurgerUnfortunately, brands sometimes forget to listen internally, though. A recent and very strange personal experience illustrates this point.

On Wednesday of this week, my family stopped at our local Dairy Queen for lunch. We grabbed it to go since our house is less than a mile from the store. When we got home, my wife opened her bacon cheeseburger to add ketchup and exclaimed, “You’ve GOT to be kidding me?!”

There it was … bun, cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, condiments … and that’s all. They forgot the freakin’ hamburger patty.

Blown away at the ineptitude and interested only in making sure I rushed to get my wife’s meal corrected so she could eat, I failed to take a picture of the burger-less burger from DQ. (Shame on me, I know.) I returned to the store moments later where I was met at the counter by the manager.

“My wife ordered a bacon cheeseburger meal with onion rings,” I said. “You guys haven’t gotten the onion rings right in two years of coming here. We’re used to it. But I’d like you to look at the sandwich and tell me if anything looks odd to you.”

He didn’t say a word, turned to the kitchen and calmly said, “There’s no meat on this man’s burger.”

He retrieved a value meal coupon, returned an apologized. He was professional, courteous, etc. Then he said the following:

“It happens every now and then. There’s several different people involved in our assembly process.”


“Really?” I said. “How often do you forget to put a burger on someones … um … BURGER?”

“Oh, this is only the second time I’ve seen that happen.”


One time, I can see. The strangest, planets-had-to-be-aligned-just-right thing happened this week at Dairy Queen. But TWICE? Your assembly process doesn’t work.

Listen internally, Dairy Queen. If a manager ANYWHERE says they’ve seen more than one instance of a burger being served without the … um … BURGER, something isn’t working.

IMAGE:dairy queen” by PinkMoose on Flickr. (Lettering digitally manipulated by J. Falls.)

[tags]Dairy Queen, hamburgers, customer service, social media, listening[/tags]

About the Author

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is a leading thinker, speaker and strategist in the world of digital marketing and is co-author of two books, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing and The Rebel's Guide To Email Marketing. By day, he leads digital strategy for Elasticity, one of the world's most innovative digital marketing and public relations firms. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).