I knew it from the second he took my cocktail order. He had been trained in customer service by the very best. He knew that his one and only job was to make my evening in their dining establishment as service friendly as possible. My waiter was trained by the elite of the elite. My waiter was a Chick-fil-A employee graduate.
No one can argue that a visit to a Chick-fil-A is an experience in customer service like no other. Have you ever wondered how they manage to deliver great food and a great experience when restaurants right down the street, paying their people similar wages struggle?
Chick-fil-A’s culture and values attract great workers. Higher caliber workers are able and willing to provide higher level service.
Chick-fil-A has core values that they teach to every employee, when serving their guests. These core skill sets have been so ingrained into the minds of employees, that most can name them from memory whenever asked. Perhaps we can all learn a few valuable customer service skills from the playbook of the beloved “Original” Chicken Sandwich icon.
Make Eye Contact – This is simple, but so often overlooked. It makes a huge difference in the feel of a place when people make eye contact and recognize your presence.
There is a rule in the hospitality industry called the 10 and 5 rule. The rule states that if someone is within 10 feet of you, you should greet them with a smile and eye contact. If they are within 5 feet of you, you should greet them verbally. It just takes 2 seconds but will make all the difference in the feel of your business.
Smile – Smiling is an international symbol of kindness. It doesn’t matter how bad of a day you are having if you will smile at the people you encounter you will have a positive impact on their day. And, bonus… you will actually feel better. The act of smiling is proven to improve your mood. You look happier. You make other people happier and you feel happier. Why not put on a smile?
Speak Enthusiastically – I love the phrase “fake it until you make it.” It applies to so many areas of life. Are you scared of a conversation or situation? Fake confidence. You fake it by adjusting your body language, your speech, your eye contact, your entire presence. You ask yourself how would a confident person act in this situation and then you force yourself to act that way. The cool thing is that as you fake confidence, you really begin to feel confident. Making eye contact, smiling, speaking enthusiastically could all be considered “faking it” but will actually change you as you do these actions!
People respond to what you present to them. If you present yourself as caring, confident and happy they are more likely to respond positively to you. Their response further lifts your mood as you just lifted theirs. It’s a great cycle!
Stay Connected – or Make a Connection. Relationships begin on common ground or shared values. Look for an opportunity to find common ground with everyone you interact with.
Hire great people, engrain them in great training, and reap the benefits of exceptional customer service.
Now go enjoy yourself a Chicken Sandwich with Extra Pickle!