Chick-fil-A made headlines recently with the impeccable customer service of its employee that I have named “Jolly Jeremiah.” I have said it forever…..Chick-fil-A’s customer service is IMPECCABLE. I almost forget its fast food amidst all the “my pleasures” being thrown around, and employees happy to meet my need for more lemonade refills and extra Polynesian sauce. For those estheticians that think Polynesian sauce is the next best thing next to serum there is so much more we can learn from Chick-fil-A. Here are a few of my take- away’s.
Treat People Kindly
Treat people kindly is a Chick-fil-A mantra, and its true being nice to people really is a thing in business, and by nice I don’t mean pushover. One thing I like about Chick-fil-A is that they engage in small little niceties that set their dining experience apart. The fact that I will actually dine in with them says ALOT. They bring your order to the table, have awesome kids toys, and they don’t charge extra for that Polynesian sauce. These small gestures go a long way with someone like me. So how does that translate for us esties in business? Well, what kinds of little things do you do to show you care? Do you offer complimentary tea or warm drinks on cold days? Do you always show up with a smile? Think about it.
Find Your FUNKY Chicken
If there is one thing that Chick- fil-A does well its chicken. I mean they’re known for it, it’s in their name for cryin out loud! No one is running to Chick-fil-A for their burritos, I think we all know the place that stole the burrito game. They crafted a simple recipe for chicken, went with it, and the rest is history. They learned early on chicken is what there good at and they built a successful business on it. So, what’s the lesson? Find at least one thing that you can do and DO IT VERY WELL, I mean OWN IT! There is nothing wrong with offering multiple services I mean hell Chick-fil-A serves mac-and-cheese and even I do Brazilians but I OWN facials. So what’s the chicken in your business? Is it facials, makeup, waxing? Whatever it is, find it, and OWN IT!
To Thine Own Self Be True
Hungry for a 6 piece, waffle fries and lemonade from Chick-fil-A on a Sunday ? FORGET ABOUT IT! Way back in 1946 when the chain first started, founder Truett Cathy decided to close all locations on Sundays because of his Christian faith. In his book Eat Mor Chikkin Inspire More People the founder says they will likely never open on Sunday, and although they are closed on Sunday the chain earned 10.46 billion in US system sales in 2018 despite being closed. What are your core values? How do you honor them in your business?
I don’t know about the Chick-fil-A in your neighborhood but the one in mine has lines that wrap around the whole entire parking lot. Now if that ain’t demand I don’t know what is. I don’t even eat chicken but I find myself in the line ordering grilled nuggets, fries and Polynesian sauce for my kids. And I am not alone because when I show up there are other people there. What is it about the chicken sandwich that makes people go WILD! I don’t know but I sure hope to mimic the chicken effect in my business. The key to being irresistible is having something that people want it might be great prices, convenience, phenomenal technique or skill. You have to find something that people want and then go wild with it.
Respond to Challenges
A few years ago at our local Chick-fil-A a few of the stores neighbors became a little annoyed with all the traffic the fast food chain was creating in the parking lot. The lines were super heavy, actually the kind of heavy that require police to direct cars YITES! And it turns out it was a wide scale problem at most of their locations. Sales had doubled after all, and the drive thru line accounted for a large portion of that growth. Chick-fil-A responded by engaging their Innovation Center to come up with a solution. They test drove caravans of cars through a fake drive-thru to see how to tackle the problem. They came up with having servers walking up to cars in the drive-thru to take orders and payment, having servers walk to cars with their orders, and they are continuing to work on ways to keep its workers and customers comfortable. Our ability to respond effectively to challenges and think through solutions serves us all well and help us to be better in the field. While most of us aren’t lucky enough to have an Innovation Center challenges will ALWAYS arise and we can think through our responses and generate solutions that work.
Feature Image Credit
Photo illustration by Slate. Photo by David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images. Retrieved January 10,2020 from:https://slate.com/human-interest/2018/06/scott-pruitt-got-mocked-for-calling-chick-fil-a-a-franchise-of-faith-but-he-was-right.html