Funny cow on a green summer meadow. Blurred background

The other day I pulled into a Chick Fil A drive thru at lunch time (what was I thinking? but when you pass a Chick Fil A, you gotta stop. Right?) .  As I pulled into the drivethrough it was too late to see that it was a ridiculously long line even though they had the double lanes.  Well there was no way to back out (already 3 cars behind me). I was committed so make the best of it.

The line did seem to be moving so that was a good thing.  As I rounded the corner I saw why. Standing at the order kiosks were 2 Chick Fil A employees with their Ipads, personally taking orders (what, no garbled voice from inside the little box). They were smiling, pleasant and of course, suggested I get the waffle fries with my order which I did. No voice from within the box had ever convinced me to add on to my order.

The young man who took my order asked my name and told me to follow the blue car from the lane on my right. Great. This was a little easier than I thought it would be.

But surprise and delight, a little further up was another Chick Fil A employee taking payments so that the line would move even more quickly. She addressed me by name, cheerfully took my money, gave me change and wished me a good day.

What a terrific experience. Chick Fil A had taken a problem (albeit, a nice problem for them) and turned it into an incredible experience for the customer. I was totally enthralled with what they had done.

But, wait!  There’s more!

As I rounded the final corner heading to the pickup window there was yet ANOTHER Chick Fil A employee standing at the window, handing customers their order and sending them off with yet another smile. This was the most incredible customer service experience at a fast food place I had ever had. Chick Fil A totally aced helping customers buy from them and turned the experience of what might have been a rushed and frustrating lunch hour into one that sent me back to the office smiling. Yes, they probably had a little higher payroll for those lunch hours but how many extra waffle fries had been sold because of a smiling face.

So, here’s your big question? How easy is it for your customers to buy from you?

If you have a brick and mortar store, stand at the front of your store and watch how customers interact with your merchandise and signage. Do they wander aimlessly or do you have a well thought out layout that leads them from one great display to the next.

Is the checkout process smooth, friendly and does your staff engage with the customer while they’re right in front of them.  Are they asking the right questions (not just “anything else today?) Are they asking for an email address? Social media is important but it’s through your own email list that you will truly build a relationship with your customers and continue to sell to them.

If you have an online presence,  when is the last time you went onto your website as a customer and actually bought something to see how your whole process works. Do you have a thank you email or pop up. What does it say? How quickly does the customer receive it? How is the customer notified of shipping or delivery? And what does the follow up email say….is there even a follow up email. If not, what an opportunity you’re missing.

Look at your website on other browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, Safari to see how it looks and works.  And with the new Google algorithms have you checked out how mobile friendly your site is. Is your contact information with phone number and email and as well as a link to directions plainly displayed (above the fold preferably).

How many clicks does it take to get from the item your customer wants to buy to the checkout page.  Too many clicks and they’ll just leave.

Truly evaluating how easy….or hard….it is for your customer to buy from you can make the difference in thousands of dollars in sales. Go take a few minutes right now to see what your customers see and hear.  What did you find?  Are you going to change anything with your new discoveries.  Or perhaps you have some great pearls of wisdom to share that we can all use.