Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
There isn't just one way to do customer service.
One way to do it well, however, is to change the mood of your customers. From dark or indifferent to just a little lighter, that is.
That's what Jeremiah Murrill manages to do. Customer after customer after customer.
Murrill became very slightly famous when one of his Chick-fil-A customers, Toya Liles, posted video of him in action to Facebook. There was Murrill, in a furry hat and warm jacket to fight the chill, offering a slightly theatrical but indubitably sincere approach to taking customer orders at the drive-thru.
It's not that he cajoles his customers during their ordering. It's that he tries to make it as entertaining a process as possible.
It's his farewell, however, that's most striking. First, he commends the car's occupants on their "amazing order."
Then he takes their credit card and adds:
You're one swipe away from an awesome lunch meal. It'll be a pleasure serving you at our drive-thru window after two more things. You know what that is? It's a fist bump each. You guys are awesome.
The sheer enthusiasm with which he embues his work has to be enticing. Indeed, Liles says that every time she goes through this Wilmington, North Carolina drive-thru, Murrill is just the same:
Luv this young man he like this ALL the time.....A1 services all day everyday.
You might say you can't train all your staff to behave like this at all, never mind every day. Yet just one employee like this can not only move your customers, but also inspire his co-workers.
As one customer put it on Facebook:
Every time I see him, he's always so upbeat & friendly!!!!!! I'm glad somebody captured this on camera because this is his everyday customer service!!!!!
Another customer adds:
I used to work down the street from that location and if I was ever having a bad day and drove thru he always put a smile on my face!
What's powerful in Murrill's approach isn't merely that he spreads good cheer. Watch how detailed he is in taking orders. He misses nothing. And this at a time when the likes of McDonald's are experimenting with robots taking drive-thru orders, just so the line can move a little more quickly.
Moreover, his tone is respectful and his eye-contact constant. He makes you believe that the food you're buying will be as satisfying as the service he's offering. It's a rare art.
What's most remarkable is that he's been working at Chick-fil-A for years and he's still only 20. Somehow, he has the ability to maintain his attitude when he'd surely have so many reasons not to.
In a world that's embracing the impersonal with indecent haste, it's worth watching Murrill and admiring. And perhaps learning at least a few of his personal skills.
As Murrill himself told WWAY-TV:
Your actions, your behavior, or the way you interact with people matters. It can transform a day.