Inside Chick-Fil-A’s Customer Service Empire

Three Strategies You Can Use From Chick-Fil-A’s Customer Service:

In Northern Utah, there’ a Wendy’s directly next-door to Chick-Fil-A.

And almost every single night, the line for Chick-Fil-A splits into two groups and wraps around the entire building, filling the neighboring grocery store parking lot. Meanwhile, the Wendy’s drive-thru is empty.

I can only imagine what goes through the mind of that Wendy’s Operator as they consistently watch their chicken-loving competitors dominate the local fast-food market. And take Sundays off to rest from their labors!

But that’s just what happens when you out-serve the competition. Customers line up to work with you, even though your price is higher and the wait is longer. And they shun your competition.

This article will break down how Chick-Fil-A does it, and how you can too, with three simple strategies:

  1. Culture & Values Alignment
  2. Viral Customer Service
  3. High Standards & High Pricing

First…

Culture & Values Alignment

One of the top reasons Home Service Business Owners ask us about Customer Service Coaching is they need their team to get aligned. They want their people all on the same page, delivering a consistent experience to every customer.

But achieving this with so many different personalities is a challenge without clarity of your culture and values.

Lucky for us, this is something Chick-Fil-A happens to be outstanding at and we can all learn from…

Chick-Fil-A’s Stated Purpose

If there was any doubt what Chick-Fil-A stands for, just read this purpose statement straight from their website:

From the beginning, Truett based his business on Biblical principles that he believed were also good business principles, and since 1982, our Corporate Purpose has guided all that we do. We keep our Purpose front and center because it helps us to steward our business and our work to positively influence everyone we meet.

“To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us. To have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.”

To live out our Purpose and honor Truett’s legacy, we are focused on creating a culture of care, both at the Support Center and in our restaurants.

https://www.chick-fil-a.com/careers/culture

To add further clarity, they state their values as follows:

We’re here to serve. We keep the needs of Operators, their Team Members and customers at the heart of our work, doing what is best for the business and best for them.

We’re better together. It’s through teamwork and collaboration that we do our best work. We’re an inclusive culture that leverages the strengths of our diverse talent to innovate and maximize our care for Operators, their Team Members and customers.

We are purpose-driven. We model our Purpose every day, connecting our work and daily activities to our business strategy, supporting each other’s efforts to be good stewards who create positive impact on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.

We pursue what’s next. We find energy in adapting and re-inventing how we do things, from the way we work to how we care for others.

https://www.chick-fil-a.com/careers/culture

The clarity of why they do what they do and how they’re supposed to do it guides every Chick-Fil-A franchise.

They also get a push to be great from the free publicity of…

Viral Customer Service

We’re not the first (and certainly won’t be the last) to gush over Chick-Fil-A’s Customer Service. Just check out this viral video from 2019, viewed over 545,000 times on Facebook:

This is what it means to make the customer experience a part of the product. The family in that car didn’t just buy a Chicken Sandwich that day, they bought the world-class drive-thru experience too.

Imagine if every member on your team treated customers this way. How would that transform your business.

As Brenda Barker puts it, “it’s a people business.”

I can only imagine the value of the free publicity Chick-Fil-A receives because of people like this talking about their experiences.

I even shared my own experience marveling over a Chick-Fil-A drive-thru with this image:

Chick-Fil-A is the perfect embodiment of the word “remarkable.”

They quite literally create a service experience that is worth making a “remark” about in every day conversation.

Chick-Fil-A’s Customer Service is one-of-a-kind and will never let you leave without saying “my pleasure.”

But there’s one more thing:

High Standards & High Pricing

The math on this is fascinating:

To own and operate any other fast-food franchise, you usually have to own a net worth of at least $1mm and have at least $500k of that be liquid. But Chick-Fil-A does not have any net worth or liquid asset requirements. Instead, they look for culture fit.

According to The Hustle, “Overall, the average fast-food franchise costs between $777k and $1.9m to open.” But to open a Chick-Fil-A, you only need to pay a $10,000 franchise fee. Chick-Fil-A fronts the rest of the bill – provided you actually get the job.

Chick-Fil-A also “commands 15% of sales + 50% of any profitand maintains full ownership of the building, real estate and equipment.

A setup which, surprisingly, is actually great for most of the franchisees. That’s because the average Chick-Fil-A makes $4.2mm in annual revenue compared to $2.8mm for McDonald’s or $1.2mm for KFC.

And they’re able to pull that off without working on Sundays.

Truly, at Chick-Fil-A, you do things “The Chick-Fil-A Way”, not your way.

(NOTE: We talk about this in our most popular free video ever, “It’s About the Experience You Provide.” Take a look below.)

What This Means for The Trades

Sometimes, Trades businesses will also do the work to clarify their purpose and values, amaze their customers and set a bar that’s hard to follow…

And those same companies almost always end up being the ones who earn more customers, earn more money and lead better lives.

From your marketing to your call-handling to your uniforms to the way you greet the customer at the their doorstep – all of this works for (or against!) you in building your company’s brand.

And if you do it right…

Customers Will Wait Longer and Pay More for Your Service

We’ve seen it time and time again. Customers are more patient, more willing to take a later appointment and will pay more money for a brand that is professional and true to their values.

The same way the Northern Utah Chick-Fil-A’s Customer Service makes Wendy’s look like it’s abandoned, your dispatch board and customer reviews can make it look like you’re the only outfit in town. If you serve the customer right.

Because it’s the companies that seek “to positively influence everyone [they] meet” that we all love to buy from.