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Who Should Be Blamed for Bad Customer Service?

A few days ago, I went through the drive-through at Chick-fil-A. It’s not the first time I’ve been to a Chick-fil-A, but it’s been a while because there’s not one close to me. As a matter of fact, I have to pass two different McDonald’s, a Burger King, and a Wendy’s just to get to Chick-fil-A. So if I’m eating fast food in a rush, I would typically stop of one of those restaurants first.

As I went through the drive-through and they took my order, it occurred to me there’s a reason why the Chick-fil-A drive-through is aways backed up around the building. Yes, they do have good fast food, but so do a lot of other restaurants. The reason Chick-fil-A is different is because they treat each customer as if they’re of the utmost importance, or dare I use the words “with respect.” I say respect, because that’s how I felt. It’s as if their employees understand that I have many options of where to spend my money, yet they appreciate me coming to Chick-fil-A.

The very next morning I thought about their stellar customer service again, while going through the drive-through at McDonald’s. For some unknown reason, McDonald’s has recently been trying to push their customers to use their “McDonald’s App”. Every time I pull through the drive-through they begin by asking, “Will you be using the McDonald’s app today?” Now don’t get me wrong, I do appreciate using an app on my phone when it make sense, but to use the McDonald’s app means I would have to stop and take five minutes in advance of going through the drive-through to scroll on their app and figure out what I wanted to order. To be honest, if I stopped and thought about what I wanted to order at McDonald’s, I might very likely change my mind about going there in the first place. I seriously doubt McDonald’s is thinking about giving me a great customer experience. It feels more like they want me to use their app because it’s somehow more convenient for them and not me.

Another thing that occurred to me was the fact that Chick-fil-A had around 20 cars in line at their drive-through, yet they were still pleasant, repeated my order, quickly took my money, smiled as they thanked me for my business, and yet still got me through that long line in less than seven minutes. McDonald’s, Burger King, and Wendy’s quite often get my order wrong and mumble at me through the speaker, on top of taking much more time than I think it should, with half the cars that Chick-fil-A handles in that same amount of time.

It’s really about management. The sixteen-year-old kid that works at Chick-fil-A is the same basic kid that works the drive-through at McDonald’s, but the management has a clear training and accountability process at Chick-fil-A. That’s the main reason the cars are lined up around the building, because their management goes to great lengths to properly train their employees. Their customers are treated with respect and feel appreciated because of that.

As I’ve grown my real estate business, I’ve spent a lot of time trying to simplify the process and streamline it as much as possible. Real estate will never be as simple as cooking a batch of fries or grilling a hamburger, but the principles of training and implementation of systems are the same, whether it’s real estate sales or any other business for that matter.

My goal has always been to create a 5-star experience for our customers. I love hearing them say, “You guys are great. This has been such an easy process and you’ve taken care of everything for us.” They are able to say that because my team spends countless hours every month looking at our processes, asking how we can make it better, and foreseeing problems before they get to our clients. I completely understand that our clients have many options for using other REALTORS®, some of which may even charge less than we do, but they’re using us because they want a high level of service beginning to end. We will never forget that and strive to be even better moving into 2022. That’s my promise to you.

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