Both of my sons’ hands where all sweaty as they looked up at the huge snow-clad mountain. You could see the desire and fear battling in their eyes. Was it fun, was it dark, what would happen, was it to scary? You could see the result of the battle shifting as they heard the laughs and screams coming from all the people riding it. And here I was, the impatient dad, “Do you want to go on the ride or not? The line is 40 minutes long and I don’t want to stand in line for 40 minutes for you to back out in the last minute”.
I know, I’m a very patient and understanding father, I know. My ten year old looked at me, then at the ride, then back at me again… ”I don’t know… I want to, but what if it is too scary?” My six year old just looked at his brother with big eyes and squeezed my hand.
As a man of action, I finally went up to one of the staff (sorry cast member), and asked the young lady; “Is this ride scary? The reason I’m asking is that my kids are really hesitant and we don’t want to wait in line and then have a bad experience.” She looked at my kids, asked them, not me (also a pretty unique experience) what they wanted. Again, “don’t know, scary, want to but…”, from my 10-year old. Then came the magic, the young lady said to my sons “you know what, if you want, I can get you to the front of the line right now, and then you can decide right away… If you want to go on the ride, jump in, otherwise you can continue enjoying the rest of the park”. Speechless, my sons nodded their heads, and I gaped. What, just like that? She took my sons hands and led them around the whole line and spoke to her colleagues. The last I heard as we approached the ride was the young lady saying; “It’s a magic moment”, and that it truly was!
Two weeks ago, on a Christmas inspired round table discussion around customer experience with some of the industry’s leading CX experts, an interesting discussion emerged. What do companies that create a truly unique customer experience do, to get employees that are sincere in their will to create a truly exceptional customer experience
How do they do it?
I would say, thinking back on my own Disney experience, that each employee, given the right tools, can provide customers with magical experiences every day… But why don’t they?
I would argue that one of the major reasons are lack of empowerment. A common mistake is trying to micro-manage customer interactions, restricting the employee in servicing their customers. This is a growing trend that I have observed over the last 10 years. Today, all too often I hear the phrase “I have to check with my manager”, even for small things, like returning a 1,50 Apple at the local supermarket.
And it seems that Disney agrees with me.
I have been working with CX improvements for a long time and empowerment is one of a couple key areas that needs to be addressed if you want to create a magical customer experience. Contact me if you want to discuss how to use analytics to fuel empowerment, culture or something else that stand between you and magical customer experiences!
And yes, my kids went on the ride, and will forever remember the magic experience!
Chief Product Officer at Nepa USA & COO Global Product at Nepa