Customer Experience Design

While we talk a lot about the customer experience at places like Apple and Amazon, there is one company that has built its empire on designing and managing an unforgettable customer experience since it was founded in the late 1920s. Disney’s mission is “happiness for millions”, and through their movies and their theme parks they have come closer than any other organisation to achieving their mission.
Here’s an extract from an article from The Disney Institute. Grab half an hour at your next management meeting and discuss what it might mean for your organisation.

Three strategies to perfect your customer experience – The Disney Institute

During a recent work session, we were reflecting on something Walt Disney once said: “Whatever you do, do it well. Do it so well that when people see you do it, they will want to come back and see you do it again, and they will want to bring others and show them how well you do what you do.”

Today, this advice is more important than ever. In an increasingly competitive, global economy, with the length of time to commoditization shrinking, organizations and individuals must continuously seek to differentiate themselves from their competition, and they must be intentional about delivering an exceptional service experience. But how?

At Disney Institute, we believe that you must be intentional where others are unintentional. In other words, you must overmanage the things that most other companies ignore or undermanage. Embracing this singular idea is what will begin to differentiate an organization from its competitors.

What do we mean by overmanage? It’s important to point out that it’s not micromanaging. Overmanaging is very different from micromanaging in that the intent is extremely positive.

Overmanaging is:

  • Thinking about your challenge or goal differently than others, and to a greater degree.
  • Paying extraordinary attention to the details.
  • Viewing what is typical in corporate best practices as a baseline, as opposed to the accepted standard.

So, if your organization’s customer experience only met expectations last year, let 2015 be the year it exceeds them.

Here are three strategies any organization can implement to begin overmanaging their customer experience:

  1. Create an organizational common purpose. The essential foundation on which all other service decisions can be developed, a common purpose is a succinct explanation of what you want the customer experience to be at the emotional level. It represents to all employees what you stand for and why you exist, and it is the primary tool for getting everyone “on the same page.”
  2. Get to know your customers holistically. Your knowledge of the customer must extend far beyond the boundaries of traditional service criteria. Truly understanding their needs, wants, emotions, and industry stereotypes is the key to creating personalized interactions. “Listening posts” are an excellent example of a customer-centric tool that companies can use to assess the customer experience and immediately identify areas where customer expectations are (or are not) being met and exceeded.
  3. View exceptional service as an economic asset rather than an expense. With lifetime customer relationships at stake, the return on investment for providing consistently exceptional service clearly justifies the short-term cost. In these times of significant change, stronger innovators will inevitably outperform weaker innovators, so keep an eye on the future and ensure your customer service experience does not become a commodity.