While it may be true that you work hard each and every day, and there are obstacles you encounter along the way, one of the best ways to roll out the red carpet is to create the illusion of the effortless customer experience.
Think about your favorite singer or band. They put in hours and hours of work to become experts at their craft. There are hours of rehearsal time to get ready for a concert. There are surely both technical and performance hiccups along the way. However, they don’t complain about the work they do, or even talk about it much. Instead, they put on an amazing show and they make it look effortless.
Recently, as a board member for North Carolina Stage Company, the professional equity theatre here in Asheville, I had an opportunity to “adopt” the show Other Desert Cities. This is a program that enables board members to see what goes on behind-the-scenes so we have a better understanding of the inner workings of the theatre. I got to sit in on the initial table-read, some rehearsals, a production meeting and the tech rehearsals (when they add lighting, costumes, props and the set)
Typically, when people attend a play, audience members will remark “How did they ever remember all those lines?” Well, I’m here to tell you there is SO Much more that goes into putting on a play than remembering lines. The director and the actors have to be very clear on the message of the play, and how they will communicate it. They work on what their character wants and how he or she will fight for it. They work hard to present a unified performance – and have to allow themselves to be vulnerable, on stage, in front of hundreds of people each night. Then there are costumes, and lighting schemes, sets and props and so much more to be figured out.
The audience, however, only sees the final product – and that’s as it should be. The cast and crew take pride in showing you, the audience, the performance without ever letting you see the work that went on behind the scenes. It’s the ultimate “effortless customer experience” – as far as the customer knows.
There’s a lot to be learned from performers when it comes to the experience you create for your customers.
How Can You Create a Seemingly Effortless Customer Experience?
As you are well aware, it takes work to create a red carpet customer experience. However, when you let your customers know how hard you’ve worked, it takes away from the total adventure!
Here are some things to consider when it comes to creating a seemingly effortless customer experience.
- You’ll surely face challenges in your workplace. Work with your internal team to overcome them and make them better. However, sharing them with your customers will only worry them. Keep the behind-the-scenes, behind-the-scenes.
- Keep a smile on your face. As the commercial says, never let them see you sweat! If you are struggling with this on a particular day, go off for a few minutes and do what you need to do to feel positive again. Remind yourself that you’ll get through the day and the best thing you can do and head back out there with a positive attitude. You may even make yourself feel better~
- When you surprise and delight your customers with something special, just revel in their reaction. You don’t have to tell them about all the work you went through to make it happen.
- Every once in a while, scan your surroundings. Are there items “onstage” that should be “backstage?” Bus tubs full of dirty dishes, overflowing trash bins, etc. take away from the environment you want to create for your customers.
- Keep internal conflicts to yourself. Refrain from complaining about your co-workers to or in front of your customers! If it’s simply gossip, it’s best to stop it completely. However, if you have a real problem that needs to be resolved, work with your co-worker and/or your manager to resolve it. Your customer does not need to be involved.
Most of all, take pride in your work! Like your favorite performing artist, be excited about creating an amazing experience for your customers and….never let them see you sweat!
Donna Cutting is the Founder & CEO of Red-Carpet Learning Systems, Inc., and leads a team of customer service experts who provide tools and training to help you engage, inspire and mobilize your team to deliver red carpet experiences for your customers. She’s the author of two books on the topic, including the Amazon.com bestseller 501 Ways to Roll Out the Red Carpet for Your Customers. Click here to download our free toolkit to help you engage your team to deliver extraordinary customer service.