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Happy Holidays from Service Untitled


Happy Holidays from Service Untitled!

Take some time off and enjoy the company of your friends and loved ones.

As always, thanks for reading, commenting, emailing in post ideas, and more. At Service Untitled, we will be starting off 2010 with a great interview and some new content. We’re looking forward to a great 2010 and wish you the same.

photo credit: CJeppson

Chick-fil-A Gets Proactive

chick-fil-a-pep-choc-shakeI’ve written about Chick-fil-A before (twice positive and once negative) and how they do things differently than a lot of fast food restaurants. The other day I was Christmas shopping at the mall and got Chick-fil-A for lunch. Given the fact it was a few days before Christmas, the mall was absolutely packed and Chick-fil-A was no exception. Chick-fil-A was good at handling the influx of people, but that wasn’t what was notable about the experience.

What was interesting is that Chick-fil-A sent one of their employees around asking people with Chick-fil-A cups if they wanted refills or needed more sauces or anything like that. If someone said they wanted a refill, he took their cup and came back with their refill a few minutes later. If a person didn’t need anything, he wished them a happy holiday and thanked them for their business.

This isn’t something I have ever seen at a mall before. I’ve seen people walk around Chick-fil-A’s standalone restaurants and ask people how their meal is and if they need anything, but I’ve never noticed that in a mall setting, especially when it is as busy as it was when I was there.

My guess is that the particular location had an extra person who came in (and/or not enough room to get the people who were there to be productive) and the manager said to go around and see if people needed anything. Sending someone around accomplishes a few things:

  • People get their refills without having to wait in line (customer satisfaction bonus as well as less congestion at the actual store).
  • The store gets to use an employee who otherwise might not contribute very much during his or her shift.
  • Customers have the opportunity to be impressed, wowed, etc. by the fact a fast food restaurant is sending people around a mall’s food court and asking if they want refills.

All and all, this was a win-win for Chick-fil-A and a good idea.

Pay Now or Pay Later?

Mark and Pfennig no moreI was getting my car serviced today and was in a rush, so I asked to pay for my oil change before it was done so I could save time once it was finished. Apparently, it was company policy to prohibit customers from paying in advance. When I asked if I could pay in the advance, the guy helping me muttered something about putting a deposit down and how that isn’t allowed and the gist of the message was that I couldn’t pay in advance.

Within reason, policies should be put in place to help customers and make the customer experience smoother. I can’t think of a good reason why a customer should not be allowed to pay for a set price of work in advance. Simple systems can be put in place to make it work and deal with any potential complications that would result from some customers paying in advance.

If there is a legitimate reason that you cannot do something that seems simple, have an explanation of some sort ready. Customers will be a lot more understanding if it sounds like some thought went into the particular policy and if there appears to be a legitimate hardship involved for the company trying to go out of its way. And if something isn’t complicated, but can make a customer happy, consider it seriously. You have very little to lose and a lot to gain.

photo credit: arex