Posted: Jan 24, 2022
America loves a good redemption story. While you probably wouldn't think of Chipotle as a business in need of redemption, it was suffering a bit when CEO Brian Niccol took the helm in 2018.
For many years, Chipotle was soaring -- adding 200 restaurants a year at one point -- with a bright future ahead. The problem? Food integrity and customer service were taking a hit.
Niccol recognized this as soon as he took the reins. His solutions, while in some ways specific to Chipotle, lean on methods that any business should be leveraging. As a result, growing lines and wait times were cut, customers better understood the company's approach to food integrity, and brand loyalty grew.
Here's what Niccol did, in a nutshell:
Trained staff to be customer-centric, regardless of the work they did. Managers were encouraged to ask customers for feedback -- but so were frontline employees. They asked specific questions about the quality of the food, the service, the experience. And they took the feedback to heart, making changes that had ripple effects across the company.
Leaned heavily on product integrity -- and education. This was a two-pronged approach for Niccol. First, he encouraged culinary excellence, training his team to actually taste the food they made and make adjustments instead of going through the motions. Then, he educated customers on ingredients sourcing, explaining that seasonality affects flavor -- and supply. The number one goal? Quality.
Niccol's efforts redounded to the company's benefit, boosting revenue by $2 billion over four years -- a testament to the importance of these two simple techniques. And they're not unique to Chipotle; these methods work for any company in any industry.
So what are the benefits?
You create a service-oriented business that inspires loyalty. According to Microsoft, 90 percent of Americans consider customer service a factor in deciding whether to do business with a company. If you know how to treat a customer -- and give them the opportunity to share their thoughts, opinions, and preferences -- you win repeat business.
You make your product(s) the best on the market instead of spreading yourself too thin on new product development. Offering quality says you care about giving your customers the very best; offering quantity (to the detriment of quality) says you want to make more money.
By Jeff Steen
Source and complete article by: inc.com
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