Chick-Fil-A knows how to do Chicken and CX!

I must admit that I’m considered a “late-adopter” when it comes to technology.  I’m not the first one to buy the latest smartphone, convert from cable TV to streaming apps or leap into the world of social media.  So, it was with Chick-Fil-A.  Until last week, I had only heard about the fantastic chicken, great service and Sunday closings but never experienced them firsthand. 

It was about 12:30 p.m. on a recent Tuesday afternoon and I was out running an errand when I realized it was time for lunch.  I turned the corner, and there it was, our neighborhood Chick-Fil-A. I noticed well-placed, easy to read signs directing me to the drive thru lane while others were proceeding to the mobile order lane.  As I approached the drive thru, I counted at least 10 cars in each of two lanes.  My initial reaction was to flee the long wait and search elsewhere for another place to eat but decided to tryout the Chick-Fil-A experience.  Two employees were outside working the drive-thru lanes with iPads taking orders and directing traffic.  Two more were outside at the pay window, processing payments quickly and efficiently.  A third employee was in the lane running completed orders to those in line.  Every employee was courteous and professional using please, thank you, sir, etc. I’d estimate my total time in line to be 5 minutes or less.  Pretty amazing at the peak of the lunch hour.  And most importantly, the food was hot, delicious and priced about a $1 less than a similar meal at the fast-good burger joints. 

Now here’s what I didn’t encounter.  I didn’t hear a recording that said, “Your call is very important to us please hold!”  Or, “Our volumes are higher than expected today so please call back.”  Chick-Fil-A was prepared for the onslaught of hungry workers looking to quickly gain nourishment and get back to work!  I also didn’t hear “my computer is slow today”.  Their iPads were on point.  And I got my order on time and as promised. 

Clearly, Chick-Fil-A has the customer in mind when designing their processes, hiring talented, polite, professional employees and equipping them with the tools they needed to do their jobs.  And they made it look easy for them and most importantly for me as their customer.  Why is it then that so many companies still make it so hard to do business with them? In addition to the negative interactions I mentioned above,  I continue to encounter these types of experiences:

·       Interactive voice response units that are malfunctioning; and/or provide information that is not needed.

·       Automated requests for information to “verify my identity” that must be repeated when I’m finally connected with a representative.

·       Policies are implemented that legislate for the exception rather than flex for the norm and impede customer satisfaction

·       Templated emails and live chat sessions that fail to answer my question or use internal language to convey external messages. 

·       Lack of documentation – the “who did you talk to that told you that?” syndrome.

I’m sure there are many other examples you can mention as well.  Rather than always comparing our companies with our competitors, perhaps we should start comparing ourselves with companies that are doing experiences right.  Let’s learn from them and apply that to our own customer experiences.  After all the analyses are considered, the VOC data is collected and the journey maps are completed, it all comes down to one important question.  Is it easy to do business with your company?    

Perhaps, Chick-Fil-A can teach us a thing or two about great customer experiences! 

Robert Azman