How to create great customer service in 7 minutes

imagesWe know there is no such thing as “perfect” customer service but consistency is the name of the game for any great experience.  The folks at Chick-fil-A have figured out how to create great customer experiences.  The secret is in the details and guess what, every organization can follow suit.

Recently, I decided to grab lunch and hit the drive-thru line at 1:30pm.  To no surprise, there were ten cars in front of me  – six of those before the order screen.  After a little grumbling, I began to notice my car inched forward about every 30 – 45 seconds.  So you guessed it, I had my order and was on my way in about 7 minutes.

The experience was great enough it actually caused me to pause and check my clock to see how quickly they had taken care of me.  And you guessed it, a few tactics stood out that made my customer experience so memorable.

Everyone has a job to do and they know what it is.
Whether Chick-fil-A has a customer at the drive-thru or at the counter, there is a process and flow that must occur to complete each order.  That means every employee must clearly know his/her individual job.  For example:  Who is responsible for filling the drink? Who gets the fries?  Who is responsible for refilling fries when the tray is empty?  Who grabs the sandwich? And the list goes on and on.

Your product or service is likely different but the principles remain the same.  Everyone on the team must know how his/her individual role.  Make the time for this important conversation.

Everyone on the team understands how their role fits into the big picture.
A clear understanding of individual roles takes service to the next level – I know my job AND I know how it connects to the bigger picture.  For food service, the ultimate goal is providing the customer a correct order, in both quality and in a timely fashion.  This can’t occur if every employee is not working together toward the greater customer goal.  How do you do this?  Ensure every player knows the bigger picture (why and what WE are trying to accomplish) and understands how his/her role links to every other team member.

The same is true for your team.  Individual role clarity is the starting point but your team must also know how they fit together.  How often do you talk about this with your team?  Don’t assume everyone understands this connection.

Practice creates momentum.
If the principles stated above are not in place, a breakdown will occur and the customer will suffer in some way.  Because this Chick-fil-A practices individual role clarity, feedback and connection, they have built positive momentum that works on days volume creates lines of customers waiting to be served.  It’s how my seven minutes of great service happened.

The same is true for your team.  What kind of momentum does your team have?  If they are struggling, I encourage you to go back to the basics.  It starts with clarity of expectations. Connect the dots for them then watch the momentum start to build.

So what is the big take away?  Your organization or team may not provide the same product that  Chick-fil-A does.  But what do you provide?  For whatever it is, your customers desire a great experience with you. What are you doing to ensure that happens?  Our checklist will get you started then take a trip through this restaurant’s drive-thru.  Here’s to your seven minutes of great customer service!


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