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What’s your priority?

Do you pay attention to the greetings and farewells you receive as a customer?

I do.

Here are a few that I’ve received lately:

Last weekend, as I pulled up to the Krispy Kreme drive-thru window, this was my greeting: “$16.65”

That was it. I was greeted with the total cost of my order.

After paying, the cashier handed me my doughnuts saying, “Your receipt’s in the bag.”

That was my farewell. Nothing more. This employee seemed to prioritize efficiency: processing more customers faster.

And earlier this week, after spending $62.15 on groceries at Albertsons, I received this farewell: [Cashier speaking into register phone handset] “I’m at (register) six. Do you want me to bank out on (register) seven?”

That was it. I was completely ignored by the cashier as he chose to focus on his real priority: getting the hell out of there.

Compare these employee interactions with the one I had at Chick-fil-A last night:

As I approached the drive-thru intercom, here’s how I was greeted: “Welcome to Chick-fil-A! How may I serve you?”

And the experience ended on a refreshing note as well. In place of the typical fast-food industry sendoff of “No problem” (in response to a customer’s “Thank you” upon receiving his to-go order), I received an elegant “It’s my pleasure.”

Ladies and gentlemen, Chick-fil-A is a quick service restaurant—like Krispy Kreme or McDonald’s. The difference is that Chick-fil-A genuinely prioritizes customer service and this is reflected in the behavior and language of its employees.

If a quick service restaurant can do it, there’s hope for the rest of the service industry.

Care to share any memorable greetings or farewells you’ve received?

Order Delight Your Customers: 7 Simple Ways to Raise Your Customer Service from Ordinary to Extraordinary by Steve Curtin or purchase from select retailers, including Barnes & Noble.
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