Fast is better than half-assed. I am such a geek, I always laugh at that phrase. And while it is a funny play on words, it has relevance for us.
In one way of thinking, it speaks to integrity and doing more than what’s required versus doing the minimum and only what’s absolutely necessary. And this is a big problem in the workplace. There are those employees and some entire businesses that are, like the “half-assed” latter, following fake scripts in an attempt to sound pro-customer while others, like the “fast” former, are genuinely focusing on customers as the humans they are.
For example, think about the times when you’ve been in a quick-service restaurant and gotten that greeting, “Good morning, welcome to ABC, how can I help you?”, they take your order, give you a receipt, and tell you your order will come up at the end of the counter. As soon as you walk away, you hear it again, “Good morning, welcome to ABC, how can I help you?” It’s a fast-food factory, a treadmill of sorts where the customer is moved down a conveyor belt. Customers are nothing more than a part of a process. This is fake and half-assed, and customers deserve and want real.
Contrast that to my last experience at Chick-fil-A. When I went to the counter, I got “Good morning, welcome to Chick-fil-A, can I take your order?” much like other quick-service places but from there things changed, I became a person because the employee at the counter asked me how I was doing. When I said I was having a good day but it was awfully hot outside they mentioned that they were getting off soon and would soon be out in it too. From there, we carried on for a couple of minutes while I dug some change out of my pockets. This interacting was, to my way of thinking, doing more, this was “fast” as opposed to “half-assed,” and it made me human in only a few moments. No script, no training-class role playing, just human-to-human contact that was real.
What made this happen? Why is it that one place was fake and scripted while the other went from the script to human without a blink?
Part of Chick-fil-A’s stated purpose is to make a positive influence on all who come in contact. This is easy and actionable. If I am an employee, I know, very simply, what to do, just make a positive influence on others. That’s easy, just make others feel good. No script, no fake smile, just be real and make a positive influence on others.
My question to you is this, are you empowering employees with simple actionable guidance to humanize customers or are you trying to control things with scripts and rules? Ultimately, is your service strategy fast or half-assed?