Most companies think in terms of “product differentiation” to get a competitive edge. However, we all have the opportunity to focus on far more important differentiators, such as how we approach leadership issues, improve the company culture and ensure employee satisfaction. This focus leads to the ultimate differentiator… a great customer experience.
What kind of culture do you promote? Has your team embraced a “stop selling, start helping” relationship with your customers? Are you and your leadership team committed and passionate about providing great customer experiences?
I recently ran across an organization that says an emphatic “yes” to all of those questions and serves a fantastic burger to boot.
As a little background I grew up in south Jersey, just across the river from Philadelphia. Needless to say, I love cheese steaks and hoagies. Then I attended college in the south, the land where hamburgers and cheeseburgers rule, and I learned to love those too.
But there’s one thing I love more than cheese steaks, hoagies, hamburgers and cheeseburgers, and that’s a great customer experience! I had one of those experiences a few weeks ago in Albuquerque at a Five Guys location. The burgers were wonderful, but the experience I had made everything that much tastier.
The staff was excited, the management attentive and the owner was both involved and passionate about his business. We were greeted by a team of employees who were excited about what they were doing and made us feel like we were the most important customers in the universe. They smiled, they laughed and they were focused on helping us enjoy the best burger in the world, a claim they actually believed.
The manager was active and on the floor ensuring that the employees enjoyed themselves and their customers. She focused on efficient delivery on my food from a friendly team in a clean environment. She was teaching – not telling – her employees how to make our experience a pleasurable one.
The coup de grace of this experience was the owner, who was on-site, involved and interacting with us. He told us the story about why he chose to open his franchise and what he expected of his team. He asked how he could make our experience better. I truly believe he listened. He also recommended a new product that he hoped we would enjoy.
It’s no wonder his employees are passionate about what they’re doing. His body language and actions exude passion for his business. He leads by example, creating a culture where a great customer experience is just as important as the quality of his burgers.