I went to Chick-Fil-A a few days ago. I’ve been there before, but for some reason, I was paying closer attention and noticed how much they nail the customer-service experience we have. Even though I’m not, and you’re likely not, an owner of a brick-and-mortar business, there are definitely some lessons to be learned from Chick-Fil-A. Let’s dive into those lessons and how you can apply them to your business.

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They deliver your food to you

Chick-Fil-A is a fast food restaurant. Fast food is not where you’d expect exceptional service. We expect to go up to the counter to receive our food because at fast food places, things are moving very quickly. Employees at fast food restaurants don’t have time to deliver your food because they have to keep up the momentum behind the counter. It’s FAST food.

Chick-Fil-A employees actually come to your table and serve you your food. When I went last week, it was 6pm on a week day and it was packed. I had a hard time navigating the store and literally took the last table they had. But they still came to my table and gave me my food. It took them an extra 10 seconds, but it provided me with an exceptional experience that I wouldn’t expect from a fast food place.

This experience made a shift in my subconscious. I have a more positive view about them. Next time I’m driving, looking for fast food, and I see Chick-Fil-A, I’m more likely to go there instead of whatever other fast food place is right next to it, even if I’m not consciously aware of why I made that decision.

That extra 10 seconds pays off in the long run.

How we can apply this to our businesses

Don’t make your audience do the work. Make interacting with you easy. When you create an opt-in form, as for as little information as possible. Make information on your website easy to find and accessible. Make contacting you as simple as possible.

There are flowers on the tables

That’s so strange to see at fast food restaurants. They’re not usually concerned with decorations. Usually it’s the bare minimum: tables, seats, wall art, and flooring. You’d expect to see “extras” like flowers or centerpieces in general at sit-down restaurants. Truthfully, I don’t even see centerpieces at many sit-down restaurants either unless they’re high-end restaurants.

Seeing a simple vase with a few flowers in it at my table made it a much classier experience.

How we can apply this to our businesses

Add a little flair when designing something for your marketing. We did this when we designed The Rich Massa’s website. Here’s a button we designed for his homepage banner:

Please note!

Important note #1: Use flair in design sparingly. We used this button only on his homepage banner. All other buttons were more plain because we didn’t want the overall website to get too flashy and we didn’t want to take away the impact the homepage banner made.

Important note #2: Not everything needs flair. Sometimes, plain design makes a bigger impact than a flashy one. And also, it is definitely possible to go too flashy to the point of being distracting and unprofessional. Proceed with caution. If you want feedback on something you’ve created, feel free to post in The Unstoppable Leaders Collective to get constructive feedback.

They have you “pause” instead of “wait”

This one is a cute one that put a smile on my face. Typically, at the front of the line, you’ll see a sign that says “wait here” so people aren’t crowding around the registers when it’s not their turn.

Chick-Fil-A has a sign that says “pause” instead. How fun is that? A “wait here” sign is typical and expected when you go to fast food restaurants but they customized it to match their brand (quirky and fun).

How we can apply this to our businesses

This one is also about customizing. Customize things that you are required to have.

For example, on all emails that you send through an email marketing service (like MailChimp or Infusionsoft), you must have an unsubscribe link at the bottom. Change the verbiage to make it more fun and in alignment with your brand. You can say something like, “Don’t want me to email you anymore? Click here to unsubscribe” instead of the simple (and boring) “Unsubscribe”. If you want to be more sassy, you can say something like, “Don’t want to hear from me anymore? That makes me sad! Click here to unsubscribe.”

Outdoor signs are written with their font

Their outdoor signs weren’t written with traditional fonts but rather their font. Your experience with the Chick-Fil-A brand begins the moment you drive into their lot. This extra exposure to their brand builds a stronger relationship with us and also makes them feel “larger” than just what’s inside the store. It expands outside.

Every business has a visual brand and should have established brand standards. Visual branding is much more than just a logo. It’s a combination of your logo, fonts, colors, and other design elements.

By being consistent with your visuals, you strengthen the relationship your audience has with your brand.

How we can apply this to our businesses

Customize what you can when you can. Don’t settle for default designs on templates. Change the colors and the fonts. Make it your own! Use your own fonts and colors.

The car in their playplace

It feels like every fast food playplace has a car. And it looks like a car. That’s standard and to-be-expected.

But do you know what their car looks like? It’s decorated like a cow (their mascot). And furthermore, the license plate says “MOOV OVR”. Super cute! It puts a smile on their customers’ faces.

How we can apply this to our businesses

Think about ways you can put a smile on your followers’ faces. I encourage you to think about ways where they wouldn’t expect for something fun or happy, like a joke or light-hearted sentence in your bio. For example, the bio I give out to most places I speak is:

Tara Wilder believes every entrepreneur deserves the chance to create their own online megaphone. For over a decade, she has been helping people in various industries create their powerful online presence.

Now she works with entrepreneurs crafting online platforms and strategies to help them reach, engage, and convert their ideal people.

She helps entrepreneurs and others learn to use the power of the web to bring about life changing opportunities. When she’s not helping her clients, she can be found in front of her piano, serenading her dog.

Bet that last sentence caught you off guard and likely put a smile on your face (and if it didn’t, well, I know a few people who have enjoyed it!)

What is one way you can delight while reinforcing your brand online? Share your idea in the comments below!