Don't Be a Sloth: Treat Time as Your Most Valuable Resource
My oldest daughter recently got a job at one of my favorite "fast food" places Chick-Fil-A (CFA). Being that I live in Atlanta, where it is headquartered, they are everywhere. Also, I know many of the stores owners and some of the Cathy family (founders). Needless to say, I am a fan. However, in my travels across the country I have begun to see they are now in most other cities as well.
Why do I bring this up? First, they offer something that all of us can do a better job of in our organization. They do not say "next customer;" they say "next guest." Yep, we are treated special, and they mean it. Wow, I wonder how much that costs them to do this. Time out ... Let me calculate ... yep, ZERO. Second, every CFA I have ever been to does not say "thank you" but says "my pleasure" when they do something for you. Man, every place and every time, they make me feel special. They move quickly and value our time. Oh yeah ... the cost of that is ... $0. (As an aside, after a month of working there, my daughter now has a hard time not saying "my pleasure" in her everyday life). So, they are doing something right. Yep, people buy in, love what they do and it shows. The cost ... yes again ... ZERO! Return on Investment = Amazing!
One more thing. I have recently noticed several Chick-Fil-A stores, now have multiple people outside to speed up (save time) the slower drive-thru window process. The employees use iPads to take your order face-to-face (did you see that face-to-face ... personal touch ... novel concept huh?), a next stop where somebody takes your payment and a final stop where your food is waiting for you (at the window). Genius. Why? They increased their speed, efficiency, added the personal touch and saved us time!
You see, what once was fast ... is NOW SLOW! You know, like a sloth. (Note: If you have not seen it, check out the new movie Zootopia, and don’t miss the sloth scene). If this is all not fast enough, CFA has an mobile app where you can order ahead, pull into a space, and they will bring your order out to your car. Here is the point I want you to consider: We must innovate — each year, each month and each day. You are either moving forward or going backward. We must embrace a blank sheet of paper mindset. While things like a drive-thru window, ATM, Fed-EX or movie rental were cutting edge 15 years ago ... they are "slow" in today’s instant gratification and rapidly moving world.
So, take a moment and ask yourself: What is your most precious commodity? Bingo. Your time. So you can have more "time" to do what you need to do. The companies that tap into this deep human need in our information overloaded world will be the ones (like Chick-Fil-A) who are not just growing but are thriving.
Have a great week and let me know if you can think of other companies that are offering such great service and saving us time and why we should follow their lead. Email me at Ryan@RyanSauers.com, and I will be in touch with you.
Ryan T. Sauers has spent 25 years leading and/or consulting with printing, graphics, promotional and visual communications related organizations. Ryan is President of the independent consulting firm, Sauers Consulting Strategies, founded in 2010.
Key areas of focus of the firm include: sales training, marketing strategy, personal branding, leadership development and organizational change.
Sauers is a frequent national speaker and columnist. He has been recognized as one of the top 80 CMOs in the world and achieved the top designation of Certified Marketing Executive through Sales and Marketing Executives International.
Sauers is an adjunct university professor teaching leadership and communication courses to current and aspiring leaders. He is a Certified Myers Briggs, DiSC and Emotional Intelligence Practitioner (one of few in US to achieve all 3 rigorous certifications related to human communications, personality & behavior).
Sauers is working on his Doctoral degree in Organizational Leadership and hosts a radio show in Atlanta (Marketing Matters). He is author of the best-selling books Everyone is in Sales and Would You Buy from You? More info at: RyanSauers.com