Chick-fil-A is doing customer service right!
First, for those of you that are not familiar with Chick-fil-A, it is an Atlanta based quick service chicken restaurant chain. According to their website, they are the second largest operation of their kind with more than 1,615 restaurants in 39 states. In 2011, the restaurant reached $4.1 billion in sales. Chick-fil-A is credited with creating the first boneless breast of chicken sandwich.
What is impressive and what I think small business owners can learn from Chick-fil-A is the culture that they have created within not only their management team, but also their sales associates. The politeness of of all of the associates oozes the idea that the employees are happy to work at Chick-fil-A. The associates always make an attempt to go above and beyond in their service that they are providing to you.
My family frequents Chick-fil-A’s in several states. The customer service results are the same. Our neighborhood location keeps a line in the drive thru the majority of the day.
The founder, Truett Cathy, implemented a Closed-On-Sunday policy since the opening of the first restaurant in 1946. Although he caught a lot flack for this decision, Cathy states that this is one of the best business decisions that he ever made. The company still continues to compete well in the area profitability against companies that are open 7 days a week.
So, here are my top 5 lessons for the small business owner when using Chick-fil-A as a case study:
1. Put the people in your organization first. When others here that a company respects it’s employees, that particular company does not have a problem attracting top candidates. This is easy to see in the caliber if employee hired at Chick-fil-A.
2. Allow employees to spend time with their families. WorkLife Balance is something that many organizations struggle with today.
3. Many people have some sort of spiritual thirst. Not saying that all companies have to implement a Closed-On-Sunday policy, but respecting employees spiritual desire will go along way towards the success if a company,
4. Develop a positive culture from the top down. The managers in Chick-fil-A model the behavior that they expect. In turn, the associates provide the customers with top quality service.
5. The product sold is always properly prepared. From the oatmeal to a chicken caesar wrap, the quality does not diminish. And, if a customer is given something that they feel is not top quality, then it is PLEASANTLY exchanged.
Make customer service a priority in your organization immediately. Learn from those that have a formula for success.
I hope that you enjoyed this post. And in the words of any Chick-fil-A associate, “It’s my pleasure!”