Have you ever been to Walt Disney World or Disneyland Paris?
We took our children to Disneyland Paris a few years ago – it was fantastic!
From the moment we entered the park we had a superior customer experience.
Disney makes a massive effort to ensure everyone loves their visit. The effort stems from the philosophy of their founder who said:
Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends.
But creating a superior customer experience isn’t just something for large companies like Disney.
It’s something that you can do to grow your own small business.
Follow these four steps and you’ll wow your customers, build a great reputation for service and gain more customer referrals.
1. Set an Achievable Standard
Disney set a very high standard for customer experience. Employees are proactive in being welcoming and friendly with visitors and looking out for those that need help.
They set a standard that they are able to meet again and again.
You have to set a target for customer experience that you can achieve consistently. If you set too high a standard you’ll only reach it some of the time.
You’ll have some very happy customers but also some very disgruntled customers.
Don’t make the mistake of trying to exceed customer expectations. If you order a new small car like a Mini from a dealership you don’t expect them to exceed the expectation and deliver a Rolls Royce do you?
Just ensure that every customer gets the most superior experience you can offer. Set a realistic expectation and meet it.
If you find you are consistently meeting your standard you can raise it. As Walt Disney said:
Do your best work – then try to trump it.
Top Tip: Talk with anyone else involved in your small business. Decide on an achievable standard and write it down so that everyone can keep a copy. You might decide that you want all phone calls answered within three rings, to respond to new leads on the day you get them and always have someone welcoming at your reception desk.
2. Share the Work of Creating a Customer Experience
At Disneyland every employee is a “cast member”. They all play an important role in creating the customer experience.
In your business everyone has to take responsibility for hitting the standard that you set. Anyone thinking it’s “not their job” is a risk to the consistency of your customer experience.
It’s also important to remember that employees are like children. They see and hear everything you do and learn from it. You need to ensure that you set a consistent example for everyone to follow.
As management expert Tom Peters’ said:
It’s not what your people do when you’re there, it’s what they do when you’re not there that counts.
Top Tip: Sit with each employee in your small business and help them understand the part they play in creating a superior customer experience. If you work on your own create a list of the important things you need to do each day to keep the standard you’ve set. For example sending hand-written thank you cards to each new customer, and always being welcoming when you answer the phone.
3. Measure Results
In order to create a superior customer experience like Disney you have to ensure you are meeting the standard you set.
The first way to do this is to measure results.
Create a small number of measurements that you can monitor regularly.
If you set a standard of answering calls within three rings, measure to see if you are hitting the standard. If you aim to respond to all leads on the same day that they are received measure how effective you are in doing so.
Also monitor the number of complaints you receive, the number of refunds given and returns received. All of these measurements are important for customer experience.
Top Tip: Share the measurement publicly with everyone in your business and update them regularly. Reward those who make extra effort to help you provide superior customer experience. Try eating lunch once a month with the employee who has contributed most to the measurements and customer experience. It’s not only a great public acknowledgement of their effort but is a great opportunity to discuss new ideas for improvements.
4. Get Feedback
The second way to ensure you are wowing your customers like Walt Disney is to get feedback from your customers.
You can do this formally through a survey but this can often be perceived as wasting customer’s time. Who likes getting phone calls or emails with lots of questions?
Make gaining feedback part of every conversation you have with your customers.
Top Tip: During conversations ask for feedback on their experience with your business, what do they appreciate about dealing with you, what would they change and are there areas in which you can improve? Train you employees to gather this feedback and regularly review it with them and create action points.
The Bottom Line
Do you want your customers to think “wow” when they deal with your business?
If you want to create a superior customer experience like Disney you have to be proactive.
As Walt Disney said:
The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.
He knew his philosophy would take massive effort but would bring amazing results.
Follow the steps above and you’ll have your customers returning again and bringing their friends, families and contacts.
What are your thoughts on superior customer experience? Please share them with me in the comments.
Photo Credit: Loren Javier