Our Chick-fil-A Customer Service Experience

It is funny how life changes when you become a business owner.  Suddenly you see things from a new perspective.  Since I’ve owned a web design company I tend to view life from the filter of “how is that business doing things?”.  Sometimes we see outstanding examples, and sometimes we see things that make us cringe.  The other day my husband shared with me an experience that was such an extreme that I have to write about it.

An Employee Went Above and Beyond

My husband and I have recently started taking our children on dates.  We feel it is important for them to get some one-on-one time with each of us.  This particular time it happened to be Matt’s turn to take our son out.  They both love Chick-fil-A, so a lunch date was planned.  At lunch time I dropped our son off at his office and they headed out.  When they got there my son excitedly ordered a kids meal and Matt ordered his food.  When the total was given Matt reached in his pocket only to discover that his wallet was still on his desk back in his office.  He explained to the cashier what had happened and that he would need to run back to his office that was only a few minutes a way. The young cashier immediately responded “Don’t worry about it.  This meal is on us.”  Instead of my husband and son spending their quality time driving back and forth picking up a wallet, they got to stay and enjoy a wonderful meal together.

Empower Your People

There were a couple of things that stood out to me about this story that we as business owners can take away.  First of all, the cashier didn’t have to go ask a manager permission before comping their food.  The restaurant had trained and empowered their employees to handle situations.  He had the freedom within limits to just take care of it.  How many times have you fought with a customer service agent who didn’t really have the power to solve any problems?  It wasn’t until you asked to be transfered to a supervisor that anything got handled.  What would happen if we all gave our employees the ability to handle situations and solve our customers problems on their own?  I think we would have a lot happier customers.

It’s Not All About the Money

Another point to take note of is that the store was more concerned with its customers than its bottom line.  They lost money on that transaction, but they gained a huge fan.  So much so that I am now giving them free advertising by writing a blog article about them.  Chick-fil-A is a store that truly understands that if you keep the customers happy the money will take care of itself.

Chick-fil-A Knows How to Give

I’m sure we have all heard of many similar stories of Chick-fil-A giving away food in an effort to just take care of people.  Last year there was the story of the snow storm in Birmingham and Chick-fil-A employees helping out .  “Some of the drivers had been stuck in their cars for nearly seven hours without any food or water. So the staff of the Chick-fil-A decided to lend a helping hand. ‘We cooked several hundred sandwiches and stood out on both sides of 280 and handed out the sandwiches to anyone we could get to – as long as we had food to give out.’ The staffers braved the falling snow and ice, slipping and sliding, as they offered hot juicy chicken breasts tucked between two buttered buns. And Chick-fil-A refused to take a single penny for their sandwiches. The meal was a gift – no strings attached.”

Make a Difference With Your Business

As a business owner I want to learn from examples like this how to be a blessing to my customers and my community.  In our website design business we make every effort to deliver the best customer service we can.  We all have the ability to make someone’s day by just a little act of kindness.  Let’s create positive customer service experiences in our businesses that get people talking.