Are You Sacrificing Friendly for Fast?

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A Visit to a Freaky Fast Franchise by Business Humorist, Karyn Ruth White

Let me begin by emphatically stating that I am a HUGE fan of Jimmy Johns Sub Franchise…I love them so much it’s FREAKY!!! I think their product is superior, their service is FREAKY FAST and their quality is consistent.  I have witnessed Jimmy Johns’ delivery drivers running…that’s right…running in and out of their delivery cars, visibly eager to bring their Freaky Fast goodness to the next hungry customer.  Witnessing and experiencing this dedication to excellence, brings me to the conclusion, that the Jimmy Johns’ leadership team would welcome feedback from their customers on how to be EVEN BETTER…so here’s mine;

I recently visited a Jimmy Johns store in my neighborhood near Denver, Colorado.  I am a fairly regular customer at this particular location and I have always had a great experience. I’m the customer who enters the door and immediately starts jammin’ to the music and dancing up to the counter…which makes it even more ironic that the manager behind the counter on this particular day…greeted me with a blank stare, no smile and no discernable desire to make any type of human connection.

In a rapid, robotic tone she recited: “Welcome to Jimmy Johns, How can I help you?” I was tempted to say: “OK, let’s try that again…This time with feeling!”

I said: “Wow, you’re very speedy aren’t you?” She said: “Yeah, people tell me all the time that I talk too fast.” “Yeah…Freaky Fast!”

After leaving the store, I continued to ruminate about the robotic manager and it occurred to me that, in their dedication to being FREAKY FAST, at least one member of the Jimmy Johns’ family had crossed over to FREAKY CURT. 

In our mad attempt to be “meet the deadline,” whether in a sub shop or within a business team, if left unchecked, we run the risk of coming off as curt, robotic and unfeeling in our human contact.  I believe that the human niceties, and the “not so small” courtesies like a smile, taking a moment to listen, and showing a little patience even when we’re busy…ALWAYS come first. Cooperation and efficiency flow from there.

Moral of the Story:

We don’t have to sacrifice the human niceties for efficiency. There is a very fine line between FAST and CURT, and make no mistake…your customers can feel the freaky difference.

Karyn Ruth White is an award-winning humorist, Keynote Speaker and Trainer who enjoys helping business thrive and have fun doing it! She provides engaging laugh and learn trainings to help service professionals not only give great service… but WANT to give great service. She is the owner of Laugh and Learn Productions, LLC, an enterprise helping people to stress less and work more joyfully. Visit her at www.karynruth.com, on LinkedIn or on Twitter @karynruth.