If you are looking for a high-impact way to improve the customer experience, start with your employees.
A recent article touting minimum wage increases at a Chick-fil-A carried a quote from the owner worth considering. The owner expected the increased wages would permit employees to only “work one job… What that does for the business is provide consistency, someone that has relationships with our guests.”
Here’s an owner who understands business and customer experience fundamentals.
- Relationships – people buy from people – while there is much to be said about delivering a simple and easy online experience, companies can’t substitute a personal touch. Especially when their business is in hospitality. One could argue that Chick-fil-A is in the “fast food” business but the owner clearly states the intention to hire “hospitality professionals.” People matter.
- Consistency – excellent experiences accelerate growth – the owner is striving for consistency because his business aims to deliver an exceptional experience EVERY time. High employee turnover means that new employees are constantly trying to “learn” a new system.
- Economics – quality employees are in the driver’s seat – high-quality people work where they want. Low-quality people work where they can. Since Chick-fil-A is competing with other companies for resources, offering competitive compensation is one way to use the supply/demand curve to ensure your customers are served by the best people.
It’s tempting to focus on process and technology in efforts to improve the customer experience. But the pivot point is to ensure employees are ready and able to support your business objectives. After all, when you hire the right employees, they’ll take care of process, technology AND your customers.