One of my jobs as a Ranger when working with the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service was to put on a wombat suit to entertain our visitors at shows, festivals and in and around Park visitor areas. Invariably the suit was sweaty from the last person and the heat of the suit meant that you added your own sweat to this mix. On hot days you’d emerge from the suit quite a few kilos the lighter. We endured these conditions because we genuinely loved what we were doing and knew that visitors (especially kids) enjoyed meeting ‘Wanda the Wombat’.
I was reading an article the other day of how staff at Disneyland place a paramount importance of making sure their characters create a magical experience for all visitors to Disneyland. Staff are called cast members and for those who wear a character costume they step into character and ‘on to the stage’ of the visitor domain (to avoid any mishaps they actually move around Disneyland in hidden ‘character only’ accessways). Like Wanda they also have characters which enthuse and entertain their visitors.
All customer service is about stepping onto a stage where you are illuminated and magnified. You might not be in a character suit but you are in character nevertheless … and a character that expresses your genuine desire to deliver positive and rich customer experiences.
It’s often said that the level of customer experiences are what make or break a business … and yet the paradox is that the positions delivering these experiences are often seen to be at the ‘bottom of the organisational chart’ … e.g. ‘I started at the front counter and then worked my way up the organisation’. And when comes time for some financial belt tightening it’s typically the ‘frontline staff’ that feel the squeeze.
Delivering great customer experiences about pride. Pride in creating a stage from which staff have the opportunity to shine and pride in being of service to customers such that they leave their experience with your business in a better place.