Just last month, Chick-fil-A claimed the No. 1 spot on American Customer Satisfaction Index’s annual restaurant report for the fourth year in a row. It earned 86 out of a possible 100 points, beating out chains such as Panera Bread and Chipotle, the study revealed. And there’s a reason for that.
“Little things like being told ‘please’ and ‘thank you’—it feels like you’re appreciated as a customer and a human being at Chick-fil-A,” Mark Kalinowski, founder of Kalinowski Equity Research, told Business Insider’s retail correspondent Kate Taylor. “And especially in today’s very complex world, it’s just nice to be able to go to a place where you feel appreciated.”
No matter our official job title, we are all in customer service, simply doing our best to make clients feel heard, understood and supported. But, customer service representatives (CSRs) in the traditional sense typically are at the front line fielding the brunt of criticisms. In some ways, they serve as modern-day therapists—a topic that Maggie Parker, a writer for The New York Times, explored. In her article titled “Is Customer Service the New Therapy?” she spoke to Rob Siefker, senior director of customer service for Zappos, another company known for catering to its customers. Siefker explained that while the online shoe and clothing retailer doesn’t set out to be anyone’s counselor, one of its biggest metrics for evaluation is whether it made an emotional connection with every customer, which, yes, sometimes means talking about “personal stuff.”
“We teach our team to listen for a customer’s unstated needs, alongside the obvious needs, to find the best solution,” he said. “Our training emphasizes actively listening.”
Plenty of members of our industry also abide by this core value. Therefore, Print+Promo wanted to recognize these unsung heroes of the customer experience. Read about our 11 CSR all-stars here. Thank you!