Services Before Sales Sells More Chicken! (Disney Agrees)

Last week’s post predicted that customers won’t stand for technology that constantly sells to them. It predicted 2016 as the year predictive analytics and other ‘sensing’ technologies will be used to provide service experiences to customers first.

Chick-fil-A [private], now America’s favorite chain restaurant, is proof. The Cathy family have been building their brand based on service (they say hospitality) since 1946. Chick-fil-A’s operating approach is crystal clear: American restaurateurs who double down on service first also get the sales. (We’re talking 3X what a typical KFC store gets.)

chickfila mom

Source: www.ClientHeartBeat.com

This one looks easy. A Chick-fil-A team member helps keep a mom dry and makes it easy for her to take home a meal. In the picture, it looks quite helpful and pleasant. It’s a nice promise. One that Chick-fil-A keeps. Back-of-house (as they say in the restaurant business), there are challenges to making this kind of service consistent and affordable. To get it right, Chick-fil-A has to answer some tough questions:

  • How do we know who gets the special service and who doesn’t?
  • Who takes over this person’s minute-by-minute duties while he’s out of the store?
  • How do we train customers to ask for the service? (Hint: they don’t. The team members have been trained to notice the need, arrange for back-up, make the offer to the guest, and provide the service.)
  • Is there a measure for how much this helps the bottom line?

In this example, analytics can support operations by providing detailed information to make sure that staffing levels are optimized, to understand the effect of local weather patterns (including rain), and to make sure there’s enough hot soup on cold days.

chickfila log

 

Walt Disney Company [DIS] is also proof that service before sales sells better. Disney, like Chick-fil-A has taken customer experience to heart. In fact, the company’s operations are based on this simple maxim (paraphrased) from Walt Disney, one of the Disney brothers/founders:

“If you give your guests a great experience, they’ll want to come back and bring their friends.”

Walt Disney

As Disney expanded from animated films into other endeavors, this operating philosophy expanded too. Here’s an early map Disney drew of his expansive vision. Look how much he got right!

Disney Drawing

Disney made his progress on purpose and by design (which is much harder—and more impressive—than today’s minimum-viable-product methods).

This method of using the guest experience as the focal point for strategy has positive side-effects:

  • It naturally instills service values into the culture
  • It naturally aligns the many clues (experience details) in the experience to be on brand
  • It creates moments that guests notice, remember, and share—which drives repeat business and brings in new business
  • Using consistency of emotions, it lets customers use different products and services (theme parks, music, books, movies, plays) and still get the same Disney experience*

* The use of emotions in experience design will be covered in upcoming blogs.

Both Chick-fil-A and Disney have embedded hospitality and innovation into their cultures. Both pay more than average for employee training, on-going training, and management oversight. Both have consciously invested in their ‘what’s new’ (Imagineering is Disney’s division. HATCH is Chick-fil-A’s place).

Their focus on hospitality differentiates them from their competitors.

Their focus on innovation distances them.

 

Disney logo

By | 2017-05-01T20:09:10+00:00 February 2nd, 2016|Culture + Adoption, CX in Retail, Experience Design, Great Experiences, Reviews, Story as Strategy|Comments Off on Services Before Sales Sells More Chicken! (Disney Agrees)

About the Author:

Since 1998, as IBM’s eVisionary, he has been designing and developing experiences that differentiate brands and deliver bottom-line results. Mike has worked on over 700 client engagements in 26 countries. He understands first-hand the value of properly translating across cultures. As a facilitator, Mike has been used as a board-level facilitator by LeasePlan (Europe and Mexico), Habasit, TELUS (Canada), PartnerTech (now Scanfil), Meeting Planners International, the Institute of Management Consultants and other organizations to develop strategy, articulate vision/direction, and encourage alignment.

Mike founded StoryMiners, one of the world’s first experience design consulting agencies, in 2002. The firm is known for its ability to find the essence of a company, brand, or service and translate it into a compelling experience that helps clients shape their futures. The value of his work is estimated at over $1.6 billion in sales won, expenses cut, and brand value added. Mike is the world’s only working speaker, consultant, and experience designer to have earned the top designations in his chosen fields (CSP, CMC, CCXP). Mike earned his MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management. He works in English, Portuguese, Spanish, and gets by in Russian ;-)