A few weeks ago, my brothers and nephew were in town and we did a whirlwind tour of Southern California hot spots. We went to Universal Studios, Oceanside beach, a day-trip to San Diego for various food hot spots (a few favorites for the Arizona contingent) and to Disneyland/California Adventure. While there, we went on my favorite ride: It’s a Small World. What a great job they do at making the total customer experience!
Disney does a fabulous job of creating a complete experience. In the case of It’s a Small World, you’ll notice their use of color and sound. Interestingly, if you look at the boat ahead of us, the guests are wearing Mickey Mouse ears. Other than sporting events, I’m not sure I can think of another place where people proudly wear hats (and certainly not odd ear hats). As you go through the ride, there is an underwater scene where the song sounds like it is sung underwater. Disney always goes the extra mile to fill out the customer experience. On some rides, they add breezes, smells and more. When walking between rides, you’ll always find people dressed in costume picking up trash so that the park is in great shape. Are you paying as much attention to your customers’ complete experience?
One great way to get started is to “shop your business”. No matter your position, try experiencing your company as a customer would. Are you able to call whoever you might need to talk to without annoying phone system automation? There was a brief period of time when I called my financial advisor where I was consistently lost in a phone system maze and didn’t receive a return call. It was amazing how such a responsive and service oriented company could turn into a nightmare with a mere phone system transition. (Thank goodness he threw it out!)
How easy is it to place an order? Does your customer service representative have to call you back if you have questions about old orders or does he/she seem to have information at his fingertips? Can you get information on-line if you happen to need status in the middle of the night? Do you receive product on-time and in-full (OTIF)? When you receive your product or service, how does it look? Are you proud of it or do you see room for improvement?
Now, think about it – all of these items are baseline requirements. Are you going beyond to provide a superior customer experience? Are you predicting what your customers’ might need and prompting them? Are you managing inventory for them?
What else are you doing to stand out from the crowd?