Dollars and Sense: Customer service the Chick-Fil-A way

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 11, 2005

My father sometimes tried to make points using an adage. One that remains strongly embedded in my mind &045; a leader always works to leave a situation better than he found it. Imagine the world we would live in if everyone tried their best to leave every encounter better than it was.

I want to share a few experiences and consider the geometric impact one person’s positive attributes can produce. Such events happen often at Mark Meadows’ Chick-Fil-A on Highway 280. In fact, anyone can go there, get a good meal and if observant, experience positive leadership in action. All things considered, a real value for a few dollars and an hour.

When you drive into the parking lot you will normally see Mark directing traffic, which he keeps flowing while sharing a smile and kind words. Often you will see him take an order, rush in and deliver it back out.

Inside things hum along pleasantly. Everyone smiles and greets the customer in a warm and caring fashion. Last week, there was a charming lady carrying a tray of ice cream and giving it away to those sitting inside while thanking them for coming. Every action you will observe seems directed at showing appreciation for the customer. The premises are neat and clean; because you don’t have to wait long to see Mark picking up a straw wrapper or straightening the condiment station.

The upbeat atmosphere proves contagious. Busy people in a rush to grab a quick lunch seem to find their smiles and even engage in friendly conversation. As you leave, it is not uncommon for someone to say &8221;Have a nice day,&8220; maybe hold the door open for you and if you’re carrying a lot, offer to carry the load for you.

Such things rarely just occur and when they do the reasons are usually traceable to leadership. Mark leads by example, demonstrating a commitment to excellence, a caring attitude, a generous spirit and a proactive effort to have the customer leave pleased with the meal and feeling better than when they entered. I realize that is not exactly what my father’s old adage said, but I think the twist might be better.

Do people leave your business or presence feeling better about themselves or the world? Do you always express genuine appreciation for the business customers give?