I spent several days last week with my grandchildren at Disney World in Orlando (yes, that’s my grandson in the photo). It’s been almost 20 years since I was last there and Disney hasn’t missed a beat… the customer experience there is still unmatched.
As I walked through the parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom), I kept asking myself, “Why is the experience here so good? What are they doing that’s so special?”
It starts with their ‘brand.’ The Disney logo and the mouse ears icon are among the most recognized company symbols in the world… as evidenced by the number of customers from overseas that we met. Also, the number of patrons wearing Disney-logo’d apparel was staggering. And not just little kids, either (yours truly, included). It’s easy to imagine all of the family conversations taking place before setting foot on the properties… making the anticipation sky high! And that energy that visitors bring with them to the park is part of the experience.
The properties themselves are a big part of the customer experience… they’re beautiful, well-maintained and clean, and the employees are all friendly and helpful. The rides are well-done and the musical shows and fireworks displays are all first-rate. And for a few more dollars each day, you can add ‘Genie+’ to your ticket, dramatically shortening your wait time for the most popular rides. [Completely worth it, by the way!]
But, from my perspective, the exceptional customer experience comes down to one thing… paying attention to the details. It was the ‘little things’ that made for a complete, immersive experience. Here are just a few examples…
Example 1: In the sidewalk leading up to the Dumbo ride there were ‘peanuts’ embedded in the cement. And leading up to The Little Mermaid ride… sea shells in the cement.
Example 2: There was a full-scale Millennium Falcon (Han Solo’s spaceship from Star Wars) with thousands of little exterior parts & pieces, many with a ‘worn’ look, making for a truly realistic feel.
Example 3: When standing in line for any ride, there are little ‘knick-knacks’ all around that are part of the story. For example, one of the rides takes place in an African marketplace and on the walls leading up to the ride were all kinds of marketplace trinkets and even a ‘business license’ for that market.
Example 4: We took my five-year-old granddaughter to the Magic Castle to have dinner with Cinderella. The food was actually pretty good and the inside of the castle is amazing. And the server – when addressing us – referred to my wife and me as “M’Lady” and “M’Lord.”
Here’s my point… would our experience have been diminished without the peanuts in the cement, the little parts of the spaceship, the business license on the wall and the use of old English? Absolutely not! We still would have had a great time.
However, it was significantly enhanced by having them – and a thousand other little things – included in our experience. So, here’s my question for you… when it comes to the customer experience with your firm, are you paying attention to the details or are you just delivering what you were contracted to do?
Again, delivering on a contract is not wrong. But if you want to give your clients a memorable experience – one that keeps them coming back for more – you can. And to do that, you have to put yourself in their shoes and pay attention to the details. To help you get started, here’s a list of client/prospect touch points. Think about how you can ‘tweak the details’ at your firm with each of these to enhance the customer experience for your buyers:
- your website
- the resources available on your website
- your voice mail message
- your LinkedIn profiles
- your social media posts
- your booth at a conference
- the caliber of your sales people
- your sales conversations
- your sales capability presentations
- your proposals
- the work you do
- the caliber of your staff
- your project reporting
- your project follow-up
And dozens more…
Bottom line: you’ve heard me say – on many occasions – that there is a lot of ‘sameness’ in our industry. Too many firms offering the same kinds of services to the same kinds of buyers and talking about themselves using the same kinds of words.
If you want to stand out from the crowd… think like Disney. Work to create a memorable customer experience before, during and after your project work by paying attention to the details.