On Sunday I spent a very pleasant hour in a local café – inserted into the crypt of a stunning renaissance church, the café offers period ambience, wholesome, tasty food, great coffee, the papers, and fast, friendly service. Every detail has been carefully considered to create a memorable, highly recommendable, venue.
Whilst I was queueing for my lunch, however, I noticed one small detail that wasn’t quite right: the programmable lighting was set to “Full On” rather than “Café Open”. My point? As part of a (no-doubt expensive) sensitive adaptation of a beautiful, architectural space, a (no-doubt expensive) lighting technician had been engaged to create a set of lighting options for every occasion – from out-of-hours cleaning to evening events. And – lighting being one of the most important elements of the Customer Experience – that investment was a good one to make.
Except: someone had turned the lights “Full On”, presumably on arrival that morning, and then forgotten to adjust them to “Café Open” mode prior to opening. Does this matter? Well, yes: the lighting design wasn’t being used correctly, meaning that the optimum ambience wasn’t being created (studies have shown that lighting influences our behaviour and perception) – and of course the (no-doubt expensive) investment in lighting design was being wasted.
Another detail was that the lighting control panel was situated at eye level, by the café entrance (which is why I noticed it). Logically, it should have been located in a cupboard or other area only visible to the café Team.
You may think I’m being picky (I’d also complain if inappropriate music was being played). I’d respond that (a) a simple daily check-list would ensure that the lights were set to the correct level prior to opening and (b) why get 98% of the details right when you could have scored 100%?
For support with Customer Experience design and delivery click here.