Customer experience lessons: the delight is in the detail

As humans we perpetuate to solving big problems and when given a choice to solve lots of little problems or a big problem, we would rather spend our time procrastinating over the big problem.

If you have a customer experience opportunity, I guarantee you that it is to be found in the collective of the smallest details that make up an experience.

I want to tell you of an experience we recently had, eating at a well known restaurant chain. As proud parents of three very busy kids, it is mostly a gamble to go out for dinner since the unpdictability that comes with small children could turn the night into instant disaster. So such an event is always filled with slight parental anxiety and nervousness.

On the night, I was so surprised by the person serving our table. He did a few very small things that resulted in the experience being a memorable one that I have spoken about many times over the last few months.

First the waiter welcomed us and asked if we needed a baby chair for our little girl. As any mother would tell you, you probably need one but always fear the germs that come with a chair used by multiple kids. The execption here was that the waiter took out a sanitising cloth and said he first wanted to clean the chair. There in front of us, under the eagle eye of a over protective mom. I wanted to hug him!

He then took drinks orders and asked wat “Rosalia” was going to drink and he used her name. Immediately, he had sussed out that she’s the pricess and if he was going to wow us, he really just had to focus on her! We ordered cooldrinks to share and when he served the cooldrinks, he took scisors from his pocket and cut the drinking straws for the kids in half since the straws were much too long for the kiddies glasses. Ok, now I wanted to kiss the man. To cut the story short, I tipped him very well and the evening was great!

This experience did not cost the retsaurant more. It took a little effort and ingenuity from the waiter. And this was not trained, it was an ordinary guy just being clever and really focussing on his customers.

Some take aways from this experience:
Great customer experiences are not difficult to orchestrate
Great customer experiences does not need to cost much more than just vanilla service
It needs to be well designed and people are key to making the magic work!


About the Author

Chantel is a consultant in various industries, including media and advertising, finance, insurance and transport. She has 20 years of experience in this and over the last 6 years has managed large corporate Customer Experience programs and has facilitated the design of voice of the customer, culture programs, customer journey and touchpoint mapping. Chantel is part of a global Customer Experience community that regularly lectures, speaks at local and international conferences and contributes articles to a variety of global publications. She is a founder member of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA) as well as a member of the GlobalCXPanel that provides consulting, training and customer experience advisory and strategy services. She is also chair and founder of BrandLove. Brandlove’s goal is to advance Customer Experience Management and Design as a practice and profession in South Africa and facilitate access to the best information and customer experience experts globally.