I am always impressed when I go to Chick-fil-A. Our family enjoys and appreciates the quality and consistency of the food. I appreciate when large organizations show clear evidence of guaranteed and viable systems. Chick-fil-A is one of the largest American fast food restaurant chains. The company operates more than 2,723 restaurants, primarily in the United States, with locations in 47 states and the District of Columbia. Most recently, the quality and consistency of the positive customer service was pointed out to me. Jeannie Walters defines customer service as providing an excellent customer experience that requires thoughtfulness, tact, and the willingness to look at every interaction from the customer’s point of view. I have come to believe that we have shifted away from customer service to business service.
I have become immune to the shift from customer service to business service. Business service is the idea that we are simply conducting business, and I no longer expect a please or thank you. It’s just business, and it’s not personal. There was a time that I would vent to others for the lack of customer service, and I accepted it as one of the traditions to fade as we transition from one generation to the next. I appreciate the younger generation, and I am constantly trying to see what I can learn from them, not judge them. Many people blame the younger generations for the shifts in our social behaviors. People who complain about millennials do not see how older generations have not been the best role models.
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When I look around in public places or at restaurants, I see many older generations on devices. Just look at the behavior of the non-millennials on social media the last two years. I started to think about the way I interact with clients, and others in public. Am I as polite and service centered as I think I am? I was reminded that the tradition has not faded out completely, and I need to model this trait. Our pastor Dr. Virgil Woods would often say, “It is nice to be nice.” He is right. It is nice to be nice. If not for others, we should for ourselves. If a company with 2,723 restaurants can build a positive customer service culture, why can’t we? I have been down the road of negativity and complaining about just doing business, and I need to remember that it feels better to use a positive customer service lens not just with clients, but with everyone I come in contact with.
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