How LEGO does Customer Experience


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I visited a LEGO store opening in Austin, TX last weekend. It was a family affair, as my mom, wife, two sons, brother, sister-in-law, and their three sons were all in attendance. The line to enter the store stretched for several hundred feet and some people waited up to an hour to get in. Whatever marketing they had done for the grand opening worked famously.

As part of the promotion, LEGO also set up an area on the floor below to build an 8-foot tall Buzz Lightyear model. They assembled an area where kids could build blocks of Legos that would later be used in the construction of the Toy Story character. Once the blocks had been put together, the kids could turn in their work to receive a certificate of achievement for helping. This, of course, was a big deal to the kids. You couldn’t leave without getting a certificate. My 2-1/2 year old son made me acutely aware of this.

Lego Experience

My nephew, Luke, working on his blocks for Buzz Lightyear.

After helping my son build some blocks and get his certificate, we braved the long line to enter the store. LEGO employees helped corral the eager kids, and they never seemed to lose their cool (although some parents nearly did). The employees handed out catalogs and offered quick and easy signups into their VIP Program. As expected, the store was extremely crowded once we got in. LEGO had planned for this though; they had two extra air conditioning units blowing in the store. I stopped by one for a few seconds of bliss during the mayhem.

After selecting some Legos for purchase, we again waited in line. Thankfully, much like the line to get in the store, the line to check out also moved quickly. It was only when I arrived at the front of the line and reached into my pocket that I realized my wallet was still in the car. I blurted out,

Oh crap, I don’t have my wallet.

I asked the young lady that helped us check out if I could run out of the store to get some money. Even with the chaos that surrounded us, she never flinched. She smiled and told me to go right ahead. Luckily, I found my mom close by and she happily bought some Legos for her grandson (thanks again mom).

Lessons from the LEGO Experience

As was shown in a post from Bruce Temkin, LEGO is serious about customer experience design.

Here are a few things I picked up on from my experience with LEGO.

  • Know who your real customers are and design the experience for them
  • Get your customers involved when they show up
  • Give your customers something to talk about
  • Hire positive and empathetic employees
  • Love your work and smile with your customers
Lego Woody from Toy Story

My mom and son enjoying the LEGO experience.

Tim Sanchez
ABIS Consulting Group
Tim Sanchez is dedicated to promoting remarkable customer experiences through leadership and personal development.


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