Almost 40 years ago (June 1978) as a precocious 15 year old I ventured to the Knebworth Festival to watch my favourite band, Genesis live in concert (Genesis, for you ‘trendy youngsters’ were a popular progressive rock combo who did 23 minute epic songs with tales about ‘the other world’ in the olden days). It was an amazing experience in terms of the performance, but the event itself left a lot to be desired…. 60,000 people, long queues, rubbish food, awful beer (not that I was a particular expert in those days!), average sound, and a long, long wait to get out. All in all, a very ‘average’ customer experience – although to be fair, it was probably very good for the day.
Jump ahead those 40 years and after many Genesis concerts later – although unfortunately, none since Twickenham 2007 – we went to see Phil Collins (again, for the youngsters, he was the lead singer) perform at Hyde Park’s British Summer Time last Friday. It was a wonderful customer experience from arrival to going home and there are some clear messages for anyone (and everyone!) in business:
Customer Experience Lesson 1: The Welcome:
We arrived at Hyde Park Tube Station to be greeted by a lovely sign that welcomed us with lots of ‘puns’ and plays on Phil Collins songs including “As usual, Hyde Park will be Another Day In Paradise“ – it certainly made us smile and ‘set the tone’ for the day….
The security staff on the gate were incredibly welcoming too and made entry into Hyde Park easy and pain free (experience suggests at events like this, that’s not always the case!). They did everything they could to ensure that it wasn’t a Land Of Confusion!
QUESTION: HOW ‘WELCOMING’ ARE YOU AND YOUR TEAM TO YOUR VISITORS AND CUSTOMERS (ONLINE AND OFFLINE)?
Customer Experience Lesson 2: Be Easy To Buy From And Deal With:
Stalls with a wide selection of lovely foods from all over the world were on hand to cater for a real cross section of tastes and these were supported by a great craft beer stall. A real positive was that there were lots of staff on hand to serve the beer and dedicated staff whose job it was was to take payment – they had special t-shirts to tell you that so that you didn’t think that they were ignoring you! The added bonus to an ‘easy to buy from’ customer experience was the ‘contactless’ payment system (the whole event was sponsored by Barclaycard) making the whole thing swift and pain free (apart from the fancy London prices for beer!)
Even nipping to the toilet (after all that beer!) was a pain free experience with staff on hand to give directions, manage the fences and gates to keep the queues to a minimum.
QUESTION: HOW EASY ARE YOU TO BUY FROM AND DEAL WITH?
(Here’s a free toolkit to download to help you find out your True Colours!)
Customer Experience Lesson 3: Manage Customer Expectations
My experience at events like this when there are a number of acts on, means that you never seem to know what’s happening when, and whether things are ‘on schedule’. At Hyde Park we had electric signs informing us of the schedule and times for each artiste – it was a great example of managing expectations.
It’s simple stuff, but so many businesses say nothing, or even worse, over promise and under deliver! The result is that they Miss Again!
QUESTION: HOW EFFECTIVE ARE YOU AT PROACTIVELY MANAGING CUSTOMER EXPERIENCES?
Customer Experience Lesson 4: Delight Your Customers!
This is all about ‘exceeding’ customer experiences and Phil and his band did that brilliantly. OK, I might be biased after all those years, but I did have high expectations and he certainly ‘delivered’ – as did the support team of Blondie and Mike And The Mechanics.
The point of this is that your ‘core offer’ has to be right in the first place. It’s no good doing all these ‘nice things’ if your core product or service isn’t right – in fact, that’s a sure fire way to wind up your customers and says I Just Don’t Care Anymore!
QUESTION: HOW DO YOU EXCEED EXPECTATIONS AND ‘DELIGHT’ YOUR CUSTOMERS?
So, to conclude…. It was a great customer experience that had…
- A ‘core offer’ that customers wanted and valued
- EVERYONE ‘on board’ at every level who were empowered to deliver it
- Effective Systems and processes that enabled them to do it!
Do that and it will mean that as a customer I Can’t Stop Loving You, You’ll Be In My Heart and Leaving You Won’t Be Easy!
OK… That’s All!
Creating Delighted And Devoted Customers is Characteristic #3 Of 3D Businesses.