My favorite culture story, which I share in my keynote address, highlights Chick-fil-A, a fast-food restaurant based in the United States, which is a benchmark for all things employee engagement. I complimented a worker on the fantastic customer experience and heard, “It’s our culture.” Music to my ears! If you’ve ever been to Chick-fil-A, you’ve no doubt heard the words, “My pleasure.” Why is this phrase so powerful?
Legend has it that the chicken chain’s founder, Truett Cathy, got the idea while staying at the Ritz Carlton – a hotel chain, which is the only hotel to have won the prestigious Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award twice. Cathy stayed at a property and when he said, “Thank you” to an employee and heard, “My pleasure” in return, he thought those words made the Ritz Carlton experience special, so he brought them to the chicken chain.
According to Kristen Hunter, a marketing consultant for Chick-fil-A, the foundation of the company’s culture is good customer service, serve hot food hot, and serve cold food cold. The second layer is being remarkable and “My pleasure,” sends a message to customers that you’re not in any old chicken chain. It’s different at Chick-fil-A… your customer experience, and meal, will be five-star. What customer would not want that?
WHAT CAN I DO? Chick-fil-A knows it’s on to something and is willing to let you take a peek under the covers, and discover what makes their culture so unique and their profits so high. Check out the live Backstage Tour in Atlanta and be prepared to be impressed, learn from an organization that gets it, and take your culture and customer service to the next level.