How can creating a customer experience benefit your organisation?

It’s 9am on Jane’s first day at the Disney Store. The stage has been swept and tidied, cast members have been briefed and are in position, and as the shutters go up, she catches sight of the guests outside, eagerly waiting for the show to begin…  Jane watches, stunned, as cast members approach each guest in turn with confidence and positivity, who happily return their smiles and join in with friendly conversation. They are then each provided with personalised shopping assistance, so that when each guest leaves the store, they feel that they haven’t just shopped, they’ve experienced.

It is a common occurrence that customers feel frustrated by poor service. Not only does this have an impact on sales and returning business, but it also has a negative impact on staff, who feel a lack of motivation to work harder, and end up settling for sub-par performance.

How then as an organisation can you develop your customer service so that it goes beyond the mediocre? How can you differentiate yourself from competitors? By creating an ‘experience’, you’re not just seeing customer service as background noise, but acknowledging the importance of your consumers and the value in having a positive encounter with your organisation. If your consumers are provided with a good experience and excellent customer service, they are far more likely to be motivated to buy, and potentially buy again from you in future.

Disney is a leading example of an organisation that provides unique and consistent customer experience. They create this initially through their language – staff become ‘cast members’, customers become ‘guests’ and the shop floor becomes ‘the stage’. They create a performance, and only when they are ‘backstage’ (in the staff room having a cup of tea), do they step out of character. The illusion is never broken, and this is invaluable when trying to provide a unique and unforgettable experience that will stick with people long after their initial interaction. Whether visiting Disney through their stores, website, theme parks or holiday cruises, cast members consistently provide their guests with customer service that goes that extra mile.

So, how can you translate this? To begin with, it is important to consider the overall ‘culture’ of your organisation, in order to create an experience that will work in harmony with its fundamental history and symbolism. A distinctive experience can help to provide your company with an effective and highly unique ‘culture’, which leads to increased reliability, consistency and trust in the company name. ‘Cast members’ and ‘onstage’ performance won’t work for everybody, but strong customer support and a clear-cut culture will.

Creating an experience would not only leave your customers feeling happier, but could also benefit your staff. Changing their engagement with customer service can provide challenges, opportunities and job satisfaction that could otherwise be missed. Providing an experience could therefore not only positively affect the reputation and success of your organisation, but more importantly, the staff and customers connected with it.

6pm, the final few guests leave the store, and the shutters come down on another successful day. All targets have been met, and every cast member is praised for their hard work. Jane feels satisfied that she has achieved an excellent day’s work, and looks forward to coming back the next morning, when the show begins again.