The Day my Dad Pushed Me into the World. And, What can Minnows learn from In-N-Out, Chick-Fil-A, @papa-pepper, @gringalicious, and @sweetsssj
What does In-N-Out, Chick-Fil-A, @papa-pepper, @gringalicious and @sweetsssj have in common?
Unicorn Level Service!!
I just left In-N-Out Burger in Rockwall, Texas a few minutes ago. I've never been to this location before. Come to think of it, this is the first time I've eaten at any In-N-Out outside of Southern California.
I'm gonna "squirrel!" for a minute and tell you about my very first visit:
I was 12 years old. I hated mayonnaise, onions, thousand Island, and tomatoes. HATED. I guess I was kinda picky? So, my dad takes me out for the day to run some errands, and for lunch he pulls into the drive-thru of In-N-Out in Pomona, California. This was one of those days where I felt pretty special being able to just hang with my dad. I felt important and "big". So I was in the right frame of mind when my dad decided to test my manhood. I asked him what I should order and he said "I'm gonna get you what I get and I want you to just trust me".
He knew that I HATED everything except a plain burger but he must have known the timing was right. He ordered 2 Double-Doubles with EVERYTHING, 2 fries and 2 milkshakes. I was nervous and excited. I still didn't know what I was about to have to do. When the food came out, the biggest burgers I had ever seen came out filled with 2 meat patties, melting cheese, the best looking bun on the planet, AND a thick slice of tomato, AND a ridiculous amount of RAW onion, AND a huge green leaf of lettuce, AND a pink dressing oozing out ALL OVER!!!!!!
How was this happening? My mind was in a panic! Then before I could gather my thoughts and protest, my dad's voice broke through my anxiety and I heard- "Don't think about it. Just go for it". So I did.
That moment when I overcame my fears and took a huge bite, everything changed for me. The combination of flavors blew my mind. It was perfection. I grew up in that moment. I crave thick slices of raw onion and tomato on all my hamburgers to this day. I eat onions on all my hot-dogs, in my chili, in salads, on deli-sandwiches... Even more important, I never raised my nose to new or different foods, smells, or flavors again. The culinary world was opened up to me that day. That was 29 years ago. And that burger was the exact same burger I ate tonight. Still perfect after three decades. Consistency.
Unicorn Level Service
So, yeah, In-N-Out has an amazing product. BUT their service is even more impressive than their burgers. Let me give you a few highlights: I have ALWAYS been greeted with warm genuine smiles from EVERY single employee at every location I've visited. This location starts the lowest position at $11/hr. Did I mention it's fast food? Many of their locations don't even have inside seating. And it is sooo fast. There are usually 10-20 employees all working in perfect harmony even in the smallest or busiest locations.
This Rockwall, Texas store was no exception to the company's exceptionalism. When we stepped up to the line there was one person in front of us ordering. The manager "Tony" noticed us and he immediately relieved an employee "Isabell" from the drive thru window and asked her to take our order. She jumped on the next register and asked for our order with a huge smile. We ordered what you see in the picture as well as t-shirts($12 each!) and I asked if they had a sticker that I could buy. Isabell gave me a handful of these really cool logo decals and she said "no charge". ?!!!! Yeah. Free stickers. And these aren't cheap stickers that will fall off my car when they get wet. These are good ones. How do I know this? I'll show you my sticker collection on a future post.
So I told Isabell that I HAD to take a picture and blog about how awesome she was. By now, everyone knew how excited I was to be there(This is the nearest location to where I live and it's a half day drive). Tony, Jaylin, and Isabell all got in the picture and then Tony, with a sly look on his face, asked me if I liked coffee. I said YES! and he disappeared. I thought he was going to bring me some iced coffee drink that this store was piloting or something like that. NOPE. He brings me two metal travel coffee mugs with logos and gives them to me!
That's Unreal, Extinct, Blow your Mind Level Service. Does-it-really-even-exist?-Service. Unicorn Level Service.
Chick-Fil-A has the same degree of awesomeness every time I go there. That could be an entire post all by itself. I have been handed business cards with free chicken sandwich coupons so many times. Smiles for miles. Fast as lightning. Consistent as all get out("I'll get out"? Rednecks Help!).
So what does @papa-pepper, @gringalicious, and @sweetsssj have to do with this post? If you've been around for any length of time here you already know what I'm talking about. I've only been here for about a month and it has become very clear that these 3 steemians(among a few others) provide unparalleled, unusual, impossible service to their readers. Unparalleled because not many do it well. Impossible because the sheer number of followers they have and number of comments they have to respond to is a full time job all by itself. And yet they do it. They respond personally and genuinely to nearly EVERY comment they receive. And they did this before they were "famous". Somehow they still do it.
And YOU should too.
You and I have no excuse not to respond to every comment we receive when we only get a fraction of the response that these get. If you want to begin to cultivate a loyal or even fanatic following, create quality, original content, but more importantly, give Unicorn Level Service.
What are other things you and I can do to give better service than the vast majority of steemians? Be generous. Look for ways to help new users - especially when they have nothing to offer you. Teach, mentor, critique. Be honest. Be transparent. Run contests. Get involved in the @minnowsupport group. Post steemgigs geared towards newbies and minnows. Post thoughtful comments on posts that you have read entirely. These are just a few good ideas. What are your ideas? What has worked for you? Which of the steemians I've mentioned do you think is the most generous and why? Are there others that you think I should know about? Tell me about them!!