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[MUSIC PLAYING] customer service training better than university of phoenix
CLAY CLARK: Kind of in recap in what you're saying is people can't save their way to success?
ARTHUR GREENO: That's correct.
-You have to invest.
ARTHUR GREENO: Absolutely.
-OK. And I just want to make sure we have a quick recap on that. We need to invest in what people see, what people hear, what people taste, what people smell, what people experience.
ARTHUR GREENO: And how they feel.
-How they feel. I also think we talked about who they're talking to too, somewhere in there. So these are all the things that we need to invest. Whether it's muffler shop or a Chick-fil-A, or any kind of business, this is what needs to happen. These principles can be applied to a landscaping company-- too any kind of business, right?
-OK. Awesome. That's good stuff. So Jeff Bezos-- this guy, he's the founder of Amazon, and he says here, "If you do build a great experience, customers will tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful."
What kind of action steps in your customer service training are you doing on a daily basis at Chick-fil-A to create that wow on a daily basis? I mean, in order for people to see, let's get into this. What do people see at Chick-fil-A on a daily basis? What action steps are you doing to make sure people see a great experience there at Chick-fil-A?
ARTHUR GREENO: Well, let's start on the outside.
ARTHUR GREENO: OK? For me, at our restaurant, we want to make sure that they don't forget about us when they drive down the road. So we'll put the cow-- the Chick-fil-A cow, the eat-mor-chikin cow-- out by the road.
CLAY CLARK: Cow by road-- check.
It's our job to make sure they don't forget about us. When they come in the door, they're going to see smiling faces. They're going to hear somebody greet them when they walk in the door, welcome to Chick-fil-A.
CLAY CLARK: So people walk in, they're going to have a smiling greeter there.
-They're going to most likely see balloons.
CLAY CLARK: Balloons. Do you almost always have balloons at your Chick-fil-A?
ARTHUR GREENO: Actually to be honest, we don't have them all the time. We have a set schedule on when we do balloons, and when we do hats and other things. For some reason, they think we're a terrorist if we get too much helium.
-Now, you have a ton of people in Chick-fil-A, so your ambiance is different than some places. There's always a lot of people there. But what do you do for hear? Do have a certain music you play there, or do you let the ambiance of people talking fill the room? Or what do you do with that?
ARTHUR GREENO: No, we do have music in there, and it's a very soft music that has no words. And I think that that's important because when it is quiet in there, then all you're doing is hearing people chewing and that's kind of awkward.
-So you have some soft music just to fill the room up there.
ARTHUR GREENO: Yeah, absolutely.
-OK. Now the taste, obviously you're a place that sells chicken, so that kind of takes care of itself.
ARTHUR GREENO: Absolutely. And even on the taste, if it's not a craveable product, it's not worth having.
-Good-- then a craveable product. What is a craveable product?
-It's a product that you walk away going, I need to go back for more.
CLAY CLARK: OK. OK. Now, the smell-- what kind of things are you doing to make sure the aroma of the bathroom, the aroma of the business is not gross.
-Correct. Well, we take steps for that. In our restrooms, we use cleansers that smell good. We use air fresheners in there. And there was a while there that things weren't smelling as well as we wanted to, and we had to spend a couple of hours investing in what does our bathroom smell like.
-Now, this is huge for me because in America, about 3/4 of the businesses are owned by dudes. And we dudes do some weird stuff.
I know dudes who play sports, and they make it a game to not take a shower for the entire playoffs to win. Because they feel like-- it's like a superstitious thing. They feel like, I could win the softball tournament if I can make it through a whole week without showering at the Wisconsin Softball/Baseball Classic. Or guys who play intramural sports at the age of 40 who will say, I wear the same shirt every game because it gives me superpowers, and I don't wash it. You're like, what? This is what men do sometimes.
So when it comes to smelling nice and air fresheners, I don't see that in a lot of businesses. I just don't see it happen. Was there a time where you were like, oh, man. I need to encounter-- was there a time where you had an epiphany, where you realize some of this stuff mattered? It probably wasn't always commonsense, was it?
-No, Chick-fil-A had some expectations on it. But for example, they never went into, what does your bathroom smell like?
However, one of the companies that is based out of Tulsa Quick Trip. And so I was talking to a friend of mine. We were talking about their bathrooms and saying how nice their bathrooms always smell. So he followed around this lady that cleaned the bathrooms at Quick Trip and copied everything that she did. Brought it back to me. I gave him free chicken for the information, and he shared everything that they did.
-So it's always better to be a pirate than a pioneer. And you could copy Quick Trip, one of the top service companies in the Midwest area, to learn what they
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-Yes, now a lot of things they did, we already did. But we're looking for, what are we missing?
-Now what else, in terms of the experience, what are you doing with the experience? I know I've been to Chick Fil-A on dad, daughter night, where you have kind of a dad, daughter date night theme. What are some things that, in terms of the experience that Chick Fil-A does on a daily basis, to make sure that the experience itself is just overall great?
-Well, Dan Cathy, the president of Chick Fil-A, one of his things that he talks about is how people come to a restaurant to rest. They want to relax. You don't want to go into a busy restaurant and have to be fighting with people to get your food.
So for example, at our restaurants, if somebody comes up and orders their food, and it's not ready right that second, we're going to say, if you'd like to have a seat, we'll bring it to you. And so we'll get their tray and we'll go by we'll put ketchup and mayonnaise and other things on it and take it to them so they can be relaxing and enjoying their time with their family or with their kids or those other impressionable times.
-I have found- the rule I could say, if you're with your insurance agent watching this, if you're an orthodontist, if you're a restaurant owner, muffler shop owner, whatever you're doing, you want the person to feel like they're being treated, they're being served, they're resting, they're not having to work for the service there.
-The final couple things here, on the who, on the who is actually working there. Talk to me about the who. How do you decide who is the right person for you? I mean the first impression, the look. And I'm not talking about age, I'm not talking about weight, we're not talking about discriminating because of age or because of weight, or whatever. But we're talking about how do you decide who the right person is to represent your company when they see the customer?
-Now for us, with Chick Fil-A, it's about who has the heart to serve? And if they have the heart to serve, then everything else kind of falls in line.
-Heart to serve. Now is there any, just in terms of the visuals, anything that you're not allowed to have at Chick Fil-A, in terms of whether it be piercings or tattoos, or any rules that you guys have or don't have?
-Chick Fil-A has some very strict rules on some things. For example, no visible tattoos.
-You're out. You can't have a nose ring or anything. And it's kind of an ongoing joke at my restaurant, is that if it looks like a tackle box exploded in your face, we're not the place for you.
-So no tackle box in the face. No lures, no hooks in the nostrils.
-Chick Fil-A requires that they're clean shaven. And it doesn't matter who it is. It's one of those, this is what we expect.
-Anything else you guys are doing to make them feel a certain way? Because I know at Chick Fil-A you always say, I always hear it, to the point where you start to say, it's my pleasure. If you come out of a Chick Fil-A, they always say, it's my pleasure. Is there anything else that you're doing to create that feeling?
-Well, I think it goes back into having the heart to serve. Because if you truly have the heart to serve-- one of things we teach them is, are you looking for opportunities to serve somebody? That could be a mom with a child coming in the door. I've run over before to open the door so the mom can get in. You know what? That mom really appreciates that.
Or one time, I look over and my employee is upside down in the trash can. Digging for somebody's phone, which ended up not being in there. But other customers were taking pictures of it and posting it on Facebook going, the service here is amazing.
-So because you had somebody willing to inconvenience themself, to the point of looking into a trashcan to find a phone, or they're willing to open the door for a customer-- what are some other things that your employees have done over the years to help people, to demonstrate their desire to serve the customer, in terms of feel?
-Well one of the things is we provide a lot of tools for them to do it. But if a child hurts themselves at the restaurant, we'll give them a little plush cow to-- not that that happens a lot. But we have playgrounds, so things like that do happen.
Obviously we have the balloons. And that's a tool to engage with them. We have fresh ground pepper that we go and give to people if they have a salad or soup. And we put enough tools in there so that my employees know I can take these tools and use them. And I'm serving the guest. And of course, the guests, in turn, feel like they're being served.
-Now as I'm going through this, I'm just thinking about in my business how I apply or maybe don't apply these things. I know we do consulting with a lot of business clients. And in terms of seeing, I like to make sure they have a nice ambiance. They can see examples of clients just like them who've had success with their business, framed up pictures, that sort of thing.
Here I like to make sure they have the right music playing, so it creates the right ambiance when they walk up the stairs or walk around the building. Or they're outside the building, we have music outside the building.
The taste, we have the Keurig coffee machine. We've got water available. We've got some candies available.
The feel, you always want to have my assistant meet them before they get here. The idea is, and we're not perfect at it, we always try to get perfect, but we're not quite there, when they get here, we want to already be there waiting for them to greet them.
In terms of the smell, I feel like we could improve our smell. I feel like we could do better, but we try to make sure the office smells nice. But the bathroom for some reason, we just got to do something about that funk.
And then the experience, we want to take care of them when they're here and offer the service we promised. And then the who, I try to make sure that my assistant or anybody works with me dresses sharp. And I know that I can tell you old school, see, my presentation folder was janky when I was meeting with bride and grooms. I was meeting them at McDonald's for lunch, trying to convince them to hire us for they're wedding entertainment.
Here, when we had our first office, I never had background music. It was just crazy awkward. I felt like I was in an elevator with crickets.
ARTHUR GREENO: Dumb music.
-Yeah, it was awkward every time. I never thought about offering them a beverage. I would just say, I'll be right back with you. No music, just awkward.
The feel, I never thought about creating an experience. I never thought about the smell. There was always that smell. We had a bunch of dudes work in our office, so it smelled like dude, Man Law. The experience, to who, we always seemed like that we'd have whoever was the least talented person, I'd be like, go on down there and meet that bride. I'll be there in a minute. And then they would always say crazy things to them. So I think we could all learn a lot by going through this checklist here.
ARTHUR GREENO: Absolutely. And I think that one thing that you do as I've dealt with you over the years is when I get done, when I'm communicating with you, I'll generally get a follow up from your assistant. And she's always pleasant in the email, you know emails can always be pleasant, but she's always pleasant and cheerful. And it makes me walk away going, that was really cool. And I think that's extremely important is that that customer's walking away going, I feel good about that visit, I want to do it again.
-Now here's the thing here is a lot of business people, and I wrote this down, because I wanted to make sure I asked you. A lot of people I meet in these conferences will say something like, if I was Disney. If I was Disney. If I was Chick-fil-A it'd be really easy to offer great customer service, because I'd have great resources to pull from.
Yet I've seen franchise owners of big brands. I've seen somebody who owns at McDonald's. I've actually met people that own, I've never met someone owns a Chick-fil-A that hasn't done this, but I meant people who've owned other brand names that are well known and very successful who still struggle to offer a great experience. Why?
-I think a lot of times, I think there's a number of factors in it, but clearly they don't think it's important enough. Or it could be that their pride is in the way. That they're, and you and I have met a number of people that are like, this is the way to get it done, period.
-And you're going, but you're losing money. But this is a way to get it done. But you're going bankrupt. But this is the way to get it done. It's like your solid your beliefs, but--
-When we met Lee Cockerell, the guy who used to run Disney World, executive vice president of Disney World, and we've seen him speak and we are both fans of his, he talked about that, basically, the magic is kind of in that mundane. Every day you check in with your staff and every day the staff fills out these checklists. And the companies that drift away, because it's boring, they don't have a lot of success.
And there's a quote here by Giorgio Armani, he's the Armani suit guy, the fashion designer.
ARTHUR GREENO: Is that a pointless plug, so we can get a suit?
-We're trying to get suits from this guy. He says, "In the end, the customer doesn't know or care if you are small or large as an organization. She or he only focuses on the garment hanging on the rail in the store." And what he's saying is that it doesn't matter if you're a big brand or small brand, ultimately it's the experience that you give them that matters.
ARTHUR GREENO: Absolutely.
-And I think that's huge. How do you make sure that the product in this case the food at Chick-fil-A's awesome every day? What do you doing?
-Well, just like everything with Chick-fil-A, we have systems in place. For Chick-fil-A, we actually have what we call time cards to make sure that the food isn't held above a certain point. And I'm going to be very honest, it is not easy. Because when you're busy and you've got a lot of chickens flying out the door and a lot of things going on, it's easy not to do it. But yet if you don't do it and that person happens to get that sandwich that may be too old, then they're not having a remarkable experience.
-So you even, how many customers do you see at Chick-fil-A in a typical month?
ARTHUR GREENO: We deal with about 1,800 per day. ,
CLAY CLARK: 1,800 customers a day? Six days a week?
ARTHUR GREENO: Six days a week.
-So it could be said you're getting close to 10,00 to 11,000 customers.
ARTHUR GREENO: That's about right, yeah.
CLAY CLARK: Every week.
-Yes, six days.
CLAY CLARK: And so you have got to have these systems. And I just want to make sure I'm showing folks at home. If you want to hire somebody to work for super Arthur here, just look at this checklist here. Look at the magic of this thing. You talk about systems, I'm showing you some tangibles.
Look at this. We've got to get there I-9 form, they're W-4 form, their uniform sheet, their on and on and on. Now, is it possible for the average human to remember these things without a checklist? No. Do you have to do it every day? Yes.
What about the refrigerator, the checklist for this refrigeration? I mean look at the detail that's going into this. And the magic is in those details. I mean, that's where it's happening. I don't if I have a disorder, but I'm excited by that.
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