Meet the New Drive-through Window
My oldest daughter recently got a job at one of my favorite fast-food chains: Chick-fil-A. Being that I live in Atlanta, where the restaurant is headquartered, I see Chick-fil-A's everywhere. I know many of the store owners and even some members of the Cathy family (Chick-fil-A's founders). In my travels across the country, I have begun to notice Chick-fil-A restaurants popping up in other cities, as well.
Why do I bring this up? First, many of us can learn something from the way Chick-fil-A employees conduct themselves. For example, employees do not say “next customer,” they say “next guest.” Yep, we are made to feel special. Wow, I wonder how much that costs the chain to do. Let me calculate … yep, ZERO dollars. Second, employees at every Chick-fil-A I have ever visited do not say “thank you,” but rather, “my pleasure” when they do something for you. Man, every place and every time they make me feel special. Oh yeah … cost of that too = ZERO dollars. (As an aside, after a month of employment, my daughter has a hard time not saying these things in her everyday life. So, they are doing something right. Yep, people are buying in and love what they do and it shows. Cost … yep. ZERO dollars!)
One more thing I recently noticed—several Chick-fil-A stores now have multiple people outside to speed up the drive-through window process. The employees use iPads to take your order face-to-face (did you see that ... face-to-face, personal touch), a next stop where somebody takes your payment, and you have your food waiting for you at the window. Genius.
You see, what once was fast is now slow. If that doesn’t work, they have an app where you can order ahead, pull into a space and an employee will bring it to your car. My point is this, we must innovate—each year, each month and each day. If you're not moving forward, you're going backward. While things like a drive-through window, ATM, or FedEx, were cutting-edge 15 years ago, they are slow in today’s instant gratification and rapidly moving world.
So, take a moment and think. What is your most precious commodity? Bingo. Your time. You can have more time to do what you need to do. The companies that tap into this deep human need in our information-overloaded world will be the ones (like Chick-Fil-A) who are not just growing, but thriving.
Ryan T. Sauers has spent 25 years leading and/or consulting with printing, graphics, promotional and visual communications related organizations. Ryan is President of the independent consulting firm, Sauers Consulting Strategies, founded in 2010.
Key areas of focus of the firm include: sales training, marketing strategy, personal branding, leadership development and organizational change.
Sauers is a frequent national speaker and columnist. He has been recognized as one of the top 80 CMOs in the world and achieved the top designation of Certified Marketing Executive through Sales and Marketing Executives International.
Sauers is an adjunct university professor teaching leadership and communication courses to current and aspiring leaders. He is a Certified Myers Briggs, DiSC and Emotional Intelligence Practitioner (one of few in US to achieve all 3 rigorous certifications related to human communications, personality & behavior).
Sauers is working on his Doctoral degree in Organizational Leadership and hosts a radio show in Atlanta (Marketing Matters). He is author of the best-selling books Everyone is in Sales and Would You Buy from You? More info at: RyanSauers.com