Want More Food At Chipotle? Try Saying Please and Thank You
I have always been a fan of saying please and thank you. From someone holding the door to getting fast food, it does not cost you anything to be nice, say please and thank you and possibly make someones day. As someone who owns several businesses in the consulting world, I often think about the customer/service provider relationship. At the end of the day, happy customers are the key to my business’ growth, and putting out fires is what I do daily. Knowing the day-to-day responsibilities of all my employees, I wanted to flip the switch on the conventional perspective that the customer is always right. Is it be possible that a customer has the ability to control their experience more than they know? Would a happy, pleasant customer receive better service than a negative one? After all, we’re all human at the end of the day. I put that theory to test with a simple, but nonetheless indicative, experiment. Do kind and friendly customers get treated better than customers who are unpleasant or over-demanding? Below we have please and thank you Evan and not so nice Evan. We sent him to Chipotle 6 times and measured the results. The control for the experiment was one particular Michigan branch of Chipotle, the American fast food chain specializing in tacos and burritos. A popular lunch spot for many of my employees, I wanted to see whether customers would receive more or less food depending on their manner toward the store staff – to see whether there would be any correlation between kindness and level of service. I sent one of my great employees, Evan, into the Chipotle for lunch and instructed him to be kind and pleasant. He wore a smile when ordering his meal, said ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ after every interaction, and portrayed the traits of a generally agreeable customer. We then took the food he received and weighed it for an exact measurement. Next, we sent Evan back into the same Chipotle but instructed him to display the traits of an unpleasant customer. He wore an angry expression, did not engage in any niceties, and was generally mean and disagreeable. We took the food he received and put it on a scale to compare. We did this test six times in total, making three trips as a happy customer and three as a horrible one.