Above And Beyond The Call Of Duty


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While I am a big supporter of our nation’s military, this post isn’t about them.  It’s about going above and beyond the call of duty in our business.

A perfect example of this is Chick-fil-a.  If you don’t know about Chick-fil-a, or have a restaurant near you…I’m sorry.  Stop reading this blog — RIGHT NOW — and go to the Chick-fil-a website and find out how to become a franchisee.  I’m serious!  I’ll wait.  (No, I am not affiliated with Chick-fil-a in any way…just a fan.)

Not only does Chick-fil-a have great chicken (the new SPICY chicken sandwich is the best!), they lead the industry in having the lowest turnover rates (many start in high school, continue through college, go into management after college, and later become franchisees), they have great advertising (I never thought I would say cows were cute.) — this is a company that knows how to create customer evangelists.  They truly go above and beyond the call of duty.

Some examples:

  • Staff, often management, walks the floor at the restaurant to see if there is anything the customer needs, including free refills on beverages.  (If only they offered that on the spicy chicken sandwich…  Never mind, I’m already a 3-time loser..I mean gainer…I mean joiner…at Weight Watchers.)
  • When it’s raining, there’s a smiling staff member dressed like the Gordon’s fisherman with the largest umbrella I’ve ever seen — escorting patrons from their car to the restaurant and the restaurant to their car.  (I had a window seat one day watching a teenager break into a run when he saw someone without an umbrella getting out of their car.  That impressed me!)
  • No matter what the weather — even when it’s 100+ degrees outside in Houston’s heat and humidity — there’s a staff member outside in the drive-through lane taking orders for people waiting in line BEFORE they even get to the ordering “station.”  Why?  It decreases the time each patron waits in line.  They are focused on continuous improvement!
  • When you thank a staff member, when you receive your order, for a refill, or whatever, they respond with “my pleasure.”  In an era when you say “thank you” and, if you’re acknowledged at all, it’s typically with “no problem,” this is HUGE!  “No problem”  is one of those phrases that sets my mother (a Boomer) off.  (“Whatever happened to ‘you’re welcome.'”  “Why should it be a ‘problem.'”)  Good point, mom.  Words matter.

These are just four examples of how one company is going above and beyond the call of duty.  Oh, and for those of you that aren’t familiar with Chick-fil-a, it’s a quick-serve restaurant (formerly known as “fast food,” just like “pre-owned” vehicles were formerly known as “used.”  I repeat — words matter.).   If a quick-serve restaurant can deliver this level of service, why are so few OTHER companies following their lead?

How does Chick-fil-a do it?  Their corporate culture is obviously something special to generate the kind of loyalty — from their employees — that is not only unmatched in the quick-serve industry, it’s pretty impressive PERIOD.  And that culture from the top is creating herds (pun intended) of customer evangelists like myself.

What are you do doing for YOUR clients that goes above and beyond the call of duty?   Please leave a comment to share it with my readers, or recognize a company that has gone above and beyond the call of duty for YOU.

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ADDENDUM:  In looking for a photo for this blog, I found something Chick-fil-a does NOT do well!  Self-promotion!  They have an online store with SOOOOOO many cute things!  (I especially love the Exercise/Nutrition Journal — so I can “Lose That Burger Belly!”  Please, oh please, don’t tell me how many hours of Zumba I need to do to work off my beloved spicy chicken sandwich!)  Attention, Chick-fil-a management:  if you somehow stumbled upon my blog, you might want to promote your store more — or at all — there are fans out there waiting for you!

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15 Responses to “Above And Beyond The Call Of Duty”

  1. Barbara Says:

    Very interesting post. I don’t believe that we have a Chick-fil-a near us, but I am going to go to their website and find out where the nearest one is. I would love to check it out now that I read this! I have never even heard of that place until now. We love chicken, so I am really hoping there is one nearby! Thanks for sharing!

    Barbara Ling
    http://www.IndianaTeamVirtual.com

  2. Stacy Ryan Says:

    Hi Barbara,

    I’m glad you enjoyed the post, and hope you find a Chick-fil-a near you! Everything there is tasty — from the chicken sandwiches to the lemonade to the milkshakes, delivered with exceptional customer service. Come back and let me know what you find!

    Stacy

  3. Lisa Renne Says:

    Stacy, I love Chick fil a! Wonderful chicken and milkshakes!
    Great blog Stacy!
    What can we do to be of service? That is something everyone who has a business needs to be thinking of. That is a good question to ask every morning when one is preparing for the day ahead. I am sure if a person is thinking of this on a regular basis, they may realize there is much more they can do for their customers and clients. Even asking a client ” Is there anything that you need from me or my business.” , may generate a response of something that you had no idea was needed. If you do not ask, you may not find out.

  4. Stacy Ryan Says:

    Well hello, Lisa! So glad you found my blog and enjoyed it. And you are 100% correct, if we never ask our clients what they need or want from us and/or our business, we’ll never know. Continuous improvement leads to success!

  5. Tweets that mention Stacy Ryan » Blog Archive » Above And Beyond The Call Of Duty -- Topsy.com Says:

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  6. Vicki O'Neal Says:

    Stacy,
    Wow! What customer service! You did a great job of showing the excellent service that Chick-fil-a provides. I thought they only treated me that nicely. 🙂 This company was founded by a man that has faith in Christ. So it is neat that his company is one that demonstrates care and concern for others. It also has Sunday’s off. 🙂

    I loved your blog post about Chick-fil-a!
    Vicki 🙂
    Vicki O’Neal recently posted..UNDER CONSTRUCTION!

  7. Stacy Ryan Says:

    Hi Vicki, so glad you enjoyed the post, and nice to meet a fellow fan of Chick-fil-a! It does impress me that Truett Cathy not only sticks to his beliefs and has his restaurants closed on Sundays, it REALLY impresses me that he got “permission” from the malls to be closed on Sunday! In high school, I was often jealous of my friends that worked at Chick-fil-a, because THEY were never working on Sunday! At the same time, it never fails that I get a wild craving for a chicken sandwich or their lemonade on a Sunday…and I’m out of luck. 🙁

  8. maxhine27 Says:

    With these kind of customer service, who’s not going to love them. If all food business has this kind of customer service. No one is going to eat in there house.
    This is a good review. Somewhat very interesting.
    maxhine27 recently posted..Ways to win the lottery

  9. Sentosa Says:

    I am sure if a person is thinking of this on a regular basis, they may realize there is much more they can do for their customers and clients. Even asking a client ” Is there anything that you need from me or my business.” , may generate a response of something that you had no idea was needed. If you do not ask, you may not find out.
    Sentosa recently posted..dating advice

  10. sasuke05 Says:

    I thought they only treated me that nicely. 🙂 This company was founded by a man that has faith in Christ. | 😛
    sasuke05 recently posted..car games for girls

  11. wind0506 Says:

    This company was founded by a man that has faith in Christ. So it is neat that his company is one that demonstrates care and concern for others. It also has Sunday’s off. 🙂
    wind0506 recently posted..successful diet plans

  12. sam witwicky Says:

    This company was founded by a man that has faith in Christ. So it is neat that his company is one that demonstrates care and concern for others. It also has Sunday’s off. 🙂
    sam witwicky recently posted..The Pioneer Hotel

  13. Gine Says:

    Hi Stacy!

    Great tips advice! I think everyone who has a business needs to be thinking of. That is a good question to ask every morning when one is preparing for the day ahead. Thanks for sharing and keep up the good stuff.
    Gine recently posted..download angry birds

  14. Sendy Says:

    I would love to check it out now that I read this! I have never even heard of that place until now. We love chicken, so I am really hoping there is one nearby.
    Sendy recently posted..Kissing Games for Kids

  15. ducati56 Says:

    I don’t believe that we have a Chick-fil-a near us, but I am going to go to their website and find out where the nearest one is. I would love to check it out now that I read this! I have never even heard of that place until now. | 😛
    ducati56 recently posted..free car games

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