“[Sir Ken Morrison] showed us all the importance of aiming high but never forgetting the practicalities of life and the humanity of those we deal with.”
These words encapsulate the essence of great retailing, great business and great Customer Experience. Ken Morrison was an innovator – for example he built Morrisons on a model of vertical integration, directly controlling many of its food suppliers, and developed the Market Street concept of retail theatre combined with expertise directly available to the consumer.
My first newsletter of 2017 has a new look and a new focus. It’s inspired by a quotation given to me by my friend, futurist Nick Price:
“Customer Experience isn’t simply the quality & arrangement of assets. It’s their orchestration.”
So this month’s newsletter reflects three aspects of my mission:
“I help organisations orchestrate their assets so that everyone and everything plays to their full potential.”
I’m often asked to explain what exactly it is that I do.
The short answer is: I help Retail, Tourism and Hospitality organisations increase sales, productivity and profitability through creating POSITIVE Customer Experiences, Communication and Leadership.
The next question is, what’s “Customer Experience” – how does it differ from “Customer Service?”
Among the myriad reasons to visit this year’s Museums + Heritage Show (18 + 19 May 2016 – Olympia West, London), there are over 50 FREE talks on “hot-button topics” – and I’m giving one of them!
As I returned to the reception desk I noticed an open visitors’ book. The comments were overwhelmingly positive – words such as “communication” and “explanation” jumped out, as did the comment of my title: “The only dentist I’ve ever looked forward to visiting.”
Was it a coincidence that my dentist (also the practice head, as it turns out) is focused on the Patient Journey as a continuous experience – from website/telephone to reception to waiting room to treatment room and back to reception – and that this practice is receiving such rave reviews (no doubt leading to plenty of upsells and recommendations)?
On this special day, I’m sure I share the sentiments of millions regarding the latest milestone The Queen has reached.
Unlike many however, I think of Queen Elizabeth II not just as our Head of State and an constant presence in our lives for as long as most of us can remember, but also as the best boss I ever had.
My previous post lamented the launch of “Project Fear 2.0” (or is it 3.0?) by the British Retail Consortium (BRC): my simple message is that the Retail sector today contains myriad wasted opportunities and latent profit potential – it just needs to learn how to grab those opportunities and fulfil that potential!
So, what is the “right way” to bring hope to the Retail sector?
It was Henry Ford who said: “If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get to the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own.”
This seems to me to be an insight that is profoundly true, and yet far too often ignored in life, as well as in business. My newsletter (the POSITIVE Customer Experience Briefing) this month reflects on the implications of seeing (or not seeing) your organisation as your Customer will see it…
To achieve consistently excellent coffee, you source the best beans, the best milk, the best equipment; you work out a process for creating the required drink and you train your Team to follow that process. All of this can be systematised. Even checking that everything is being done to specification, is part of the system. That is how McDonald’s, starbucks and their ilk got so big – they created a product the market wanted, and designed a system to produce it, perfectly, every time.
But – can you systematise the interaction between the server/barista and the Customer? Well – yes and no: the coffee company in my example certainly thinks you can. But how do you systematise the spontaneous reaction to an off-the-wall request by a harassed Customer who just wants change? Or water for their dog? Or directions to the local tourist attraction?