I’ll Take a Number Three Please

Some years ago (I can’t even remember how long ago) one of the biggest and most influential fast food chains in the USA did something that changed how the fast food (or QSR) industry does business. They did something so simple yet so brilliant that before long, 99% of their competitors had copied them in some fashion.

The entire way they present products to their customers has changed. And, they have trained their customers to use their systems. They have in effect, branded specific combinations of their products.

So, rather than ordering a “Quarter Pounder with cheese, fries and a Coke” you can now just say “I’ll take a number three with Coke, please”

Customers no longer have to remember an endless list of menu items and extras. All they have to do is say a number.

I don’t know if this has increased sales. But I do know that most fast food chains (and many independents) have adopted the strategy. I also know it makes ordering their food simpler and faster.

You might think this has nothing to do with marketing. But I think it has everything to do with it. A while ago, I devised a formula I call the Magic Marketing Formula. It says the level and of awareness our business has is based on three things: time, customer experience and marketing activity.

We often hear the best marketing is through word of mouth (or “buzz”). But that only happens through customer experience. And most customer experience takes place as people buy and use our product or service.

So, if we make it easier and faster for them to order from us, are we delivering a better customer experience? I think we are. It might not improve the food quality but it can get us in and out faster.

Improve your customer experience and you will increase the odds that people do two important things:

1. They come back

2. They tell others

So what do you think? Has the numbering system at fast food restaurants improved your customer experience? Let me know your thoughts. (You can use the comment form below.)

The article was written by Kevin Stirtz