A while back, I spent a wonderful weekend in Saginaw, Michigan, with some really great…
Most of you know that I’m a big a fan of Chick- fil-A. For many, many years I have been eating at the original Dwarf House, in Hapeville, Georgia, where Chick- fil-A began in 1946.
When Mr. Truett Cathy had the unconventional idea of starting a restaurant in a shopping mall, he faced severe opposition. Other restaurant owners believed it was a bad idea to put any kind of food in a shopping mall. The merchants did not think people would want to mix shopping and eating. They also were concerned that people would eat food and then transfer grease from their hands to clothing in the stores.
Mr. Cathy had a different idea. He thought it might be more convenient for customers to be able to get a bite to eat while they were out shopping. He reasoned that if they could mix the shopping and eating together, they would shop longer, spend more money, and enjoy more time together with their families.
In spite of the opposition, the first Chick-fil-A restaurant opened in a shopping center called Greenbriar Mall in East Point, Georgia, in 1967. Can you imagine a shopping mall being built today without a food court in it? Mr. Cathy was way ahead of his time!
(By the way, Mr. Dan Cathy, President and CEO of Chick-fil-A, and son of Mr. Truett Cathy, wrote the Foreword to my book entitled, A Tip in the Right Direction, Volume 2. I hope you have a copy.)
Years ago I was at the Dwarf House and needed to use the phone. (You know it had to be a long time ago because most of us need look no further than our purse, pocket or belt loop to find a phone these days!) Anyway, I asked the manager if I could use the telephone in the office and he said I could. Little did I know that when I went into the office to make that phone call something would happen to change my life forever.
While I was in the office, I saw a sign on the wall that was entitled, “Why Customers Quit”. I started reading it and was fascinated. I quickly got a pen and paper and wrote down what I read. I still have it to this very day! I thought I would share it with you.
Why Customers Quit:
- 1% die.
- 3% move away.
- 5% develop new friendships.
- 9% for competitive reasons.
- 14% product dissatisfaction.
- 68% quit because of an attitude of indifference toward the customer by some employee.
Remember we are in the PEOPLE Business!
I was so impressed with the article that I have used the information many times, in many different situations over the years.
At the time I read it, I was the principal of a private school. I immediately transferred the information and application from the restaurant business to the school business. I made copies of the article and gave it to all of my teachers.
It is inevitable that some people will die or move away. It is understandable that people will develop new friendships. Although disappointing, it is even understandable that some customers will be drawn away by the competition. The last two reasons, however, bothered me a great deal.
As the principal of the school, I had to ask myself why anyone would be dissatisfied with our “product”. If we were losing customers, what were we doing wrong or what should we do differently? And, most of all, why would we chase off 68% of our business simply because we had a poor attitude towards our customer?
I am proud to this very day to say that our school grew because of the excellent and wonderful attitude all of our teachers developed towards our “customers”.
The same is true of my business, Personality Insights. I have the finest team members who all have excellent attitudes. We all get along well with each other and love working together. I can honestly say that everyone who is on our team is a joy to work with and to know both personally and professionally.
I want this weekly information to be useful in every area of my life. Regardless of what field of business or service you are in today, let me encourage you to make a copy of this article and pass it around.
Considering the fact that Chick-fil-A has no debt and did over 5 BILLION dollars in sales last year, I would say that they apply this message and this philosophy to their work on a daily basis. It definitely has made a difference in their restaurant business and I would bet in their personal lives as well. Wouldn’t you agree?
Tip: Why customers quit.
Have a great week! God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm