Delivering that Chick-fil-A Contact Center Experience


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As a customer experience consultant, I look at every consumer experience as a learning experience. Last week, I conducted a “quality review” at Chick fil-A® to better interpret the contact center experience.

I purposefully arrived during the lunch time rush and joined the line to order just outside the door. It was just like being in queue for a contact center agent. But I never mind waiting at Chick fil-A® because I get to watch, instead of hearing IVR messaging. It’s so interesting to watch the team behind the counter when they have a queue.

While I was waiting for my name to be called for my order (a benefit of this field research), I watched the drive-thru line. I couldn’t even see the end where it wrapped around the building but the cars kept moving forward. It’s was fascinating to see how they move everyone through and do it with customer service grace.

Contact center experience similarities

My quality review on this day was like the others where I spent time thinking about what kind of Quality metrics would be best to improve the contact center experience. Think about what you would need to manage multi-channel service that’s like one of these fast food restaurants. The Chick fil-A® dining room has similar metrics as the drive-thru, sure, but they are not the same. And the metrics need to be measured and tracked separately.

contact center quality auditYour contact center experience is much like a Chick fil-A® with peaks and valleys of volume, different service channels, and is dependent on the quality of your team members. How does your contact center deliver customer service grace?
There are inbound phone calls and perhaps outbound phone calls. There are emails and perhaps chat. There is social media and perhaps text messages. Each channel must have a set of metrics that best define the contact center experience. Defining the contact center experience is not the only step for Quality Assurance metrics, although merely measuring is often the only step for many contact centers.

Do you know how the levels of each metric impact the customer experience? For instance:

  • Knowing your ASA does not tell you how the caller feels about it.
  • What assumptions are causing over-performance?
  • What assumptions are causing under-performance?
  • What is the statistical relationship between operational metrics and the customer experience?
  • What models do you use to predict customer experience outcome for each operational metric?
  • Is your response rate for the email channel a complementary goal?
  • Is your chat response goal congruent with customer expectation?
  • What happens when volume pushes agent capacity past limits?

Another common contact center experience metric is First Contact Resolution. It is easy to follow the crowd, so to speak, and internally generate FCR metrics. Do you think the call was resolved? It really does not matter. The customers’ perception of resolution is truly the reality to which your contact center must manage.

Your opinion of the contact center experience

Regardless of whether an agent or a call monitoring person thinks a call was resolved, the customer will call back if they think that it wasn’t. Or they won’t call back and will remove themselves from your customer base.

This is why measuring the customers’ perception needs to happen for every service channel too. Responding to a customer’s email does not mean that the issue is resolved. As a matter of fact, the FCR metrics for emails is often times lower than for inbound- or outbound-calls.

Getting the Chick-fil-A Contact Center ExperienceThe one-sided internally generated metrics and the service channels without meaningful metrics can be corrected by implementing the Impact Quality Assurance (iQA) model. This strategy is the elite standard in quality assurance for companies that are customer centric.

Contact centers are not lacking available operational metrics, that’s for sure. Selecting complementary metrics to analyze with the customer perception from an external quality monitoring (eQM) program (High-performance VoC) that utilizes a scientifically based approach that asks for the customers’ insight and opinion about their contact center experience will uncover the “Best Thing” to do to improve and lower costs.

We cover this and more in the self-assessment 29 Mistakes to Avoid with Quality Assurance Programs. And Question 21 asks, “Do you have quality metrics for all of your service channels?” So I ask you, do you have the methods and models you need that connect reality with customer perceptions? Is your contact center like the Chick fil-A® team creating a customer experience that makes people drive past the less busy McDonald’s?

If not, maybe it’s time to “EAT MOR CHIKIN®”.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Jim Rembach
Jim Rembach is recognized as a Top 50 Thought Leader and CX Influencer. He's a certified Emotional Intelligence practitioner and host of the Fast Leader Show podcast and president of Call Center Coach, the world's only virtual blended learning academy for contact center supervisors and emerging supervisors. He’s a founding member of the Customer Experience Professionals Association’s CX Expert Panel, Advisory Board Member for Customer Value Creation International (CVCI), and Advisory Board Member for CX University.


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