Recently, I had the pleasure of eating at a Chick-fil-A®. Here in Iowa, we only have nine in our state. My first experience was a couple of years ago while traveling out of state with a group. They constantly talked about how much they looked forward to it. Because I had not eaten there before, I didn’t understand their excitement, but I quickly learned why they held the restaurant in such high regard.
So, when asked just recently if Chick-fil-A® was ok for lunch, I didn’t hesitate. The restaurant again did not disappoint. The employees treated us with courtesy from the minute we arrived. A gentleman opened the door and welcomed us. The young man who took our order was polite, patient and didn’t make me feel rushed while I tried to decide. When I thanked him, he said “my pleasure.” Our food was ready before I finished paying. Each table had fresh cut flowers, and in the restroom, they had not only soap but also sanitizer and, most impressively, mouth wash. What? I have never been anywhere that has mouthwash available! Lastly, to top it off, the greeter came around to each table offering to refill drinks, check in to see if anything else was needed and then left mints on your table. I asked my co-worker if this was really a fast food place. Wow, there is no comparison. As we left, yep you guessed it, the greeter held the door, wished us well and gave us a coupon for a free drink on our next visit.
I left feeling good about the experience and the food. We chatted about the experience for quite a while, and it lead to several conversations about service. Our experience at Chick-fil-A® proves that making a lasting impression on the customer can make a world of difference and create brand loyalty. In the case of Chick-fil-A®, my first experience was great, and my second experience was even better. I am a loyal fan now.
A co-worker shared with me that last year when she was with her daughter and granddaughter at the local Coralville mall, everyone had to go to the tornado shelter area due to a weather warning. Strangers were crammed together and hunkered down for shelter near the food court area, a potentially scary situation for everyone, especially kids. During that time, Chick-fil-A® employees were handing out chicken nuggets and juice boxes to the kids to help keep them calm. Their thoughtfulness was an example of going above and beyond. It reminds me of the saying - Go the extra mile. It’s never crowded.
It is easy to feel that people are so disconnected from each other in today’s world. Customer Service is not what it used to be and so those that provide great service really stand out more than ever. I firmly believe that “People really do buy from people and brands they know, like and trust.” I myself follow this motto. Do you?
In this case, Chick-fil-A® delivered more than expected. All the way through my visit they went the extra mile and the little extra touches stood out and created a meaningful experience. Remember – small things make a big difference. We should be doing something similar with our customers and ensuring they have the same kind of warm fuzzy feeling when talking about using us. It is an opportunity to reflect on our service and what can we do to stand out from the competition and ensure we are exceeding our customers’ expectations.