It’s interesting what you’ll experience when you visit different Chick-fil-A locations. Here are three examples I’ve recently found:
1. At a restaurant near to us we were given a color coded sign to place at your table after we ordered, rather than requiring us to wait at the counter. They then brought the food to us. The intent was to not only reduce the hassle customers had of waiting, but to diminish the throngs of people gathered around the front counter. The program worked–and fortunately so, as there were lines of people going out the door waiting to order.
2. Some locations are swapping cell phones for ice cream. Actually, what they’re inviting guests to do is to take the family challenge. The rules are:
- Turn all family cell phones to silent and place in this cell phone coop
- Enjoy your meal and each other distraction free.
- Upon conclusion of your meal, notify an employee that you’ve successfully completed the challenge and get a small “icedream” cone for free.
According to coverage by one local TV station, this appears to be going well. It seems to create more family time, and it probably reduces the amount of distractive noise callers can sometimes make.
3. The other night I found this sign at another nearby Chick-fil-A:
It’s difficult sometimes to have kids in hand while waiting and ordering at the counter. This allows the mother to roll through the drive-in, make the order, then bring the children in to a designated table where the food is brought to you. It’s a great idea in a place where moms are wrestling with toddlers. I would only suggest that the sign’s language be more inclusive of fathers or even grandparents.
What is important about these three examples is the following:
- Everyone is finding new ways to improve the customer experience.
- Locations are free to identify and implement ideas that work best for them.
- You’re not necessarily stuck with delivering on a customer service measure that doesn’t work for your location.
- Ideas like these can be tried at a smaller level, then shared or ultimately implemented at the larger level.
- The customer wins in the end.
Whether it’s a location, a team, or even an individual, it’s important to find ways to give permission to that entity to do what’s best for the customer, and to let them take ownership. It’s part of what makes Chick-fil-A succeed with its guests.