Pre-COVID; Predictable and planned are two words that could be used to describe your customer demand. And now, those probably are not the first two words that spring to mind during so much change and uncertainty.
I was a DJ 15 years ago. Each Friday night, the manager dipped the lights, and I would play the first track in what would be a joyful night in this busy town-centre pub.
What can be learned from this period of my life that can help us all now?
The 3 stages of a ‘normal’ night
Early in the night customers were meeting up talking about the week they had. The music needed to match this, not deafening, but not too relaxed as people wanted to enjoy themselves.
As the night went on the music got louder, the house lights darker and the beats got faster. Customers wanted to sing, dance and enjoy themselves.
Then, near closing time, the music would slow, and people left quietly and either go home or continue their night.
That was a typical flow for a night, however, on some occasions, another pub closing or opening, the weather or a bank holiday could affect the dancefloor. At these times, I would have to flex the playlist to entice and keep people in and enjoying themselves.
This required me to:
- Understand the different types of people within the crowd, their music requests or mentions and their plans for the evening
- Gauge the reaction of a change of music style, if it was favourable or not and remedy it or ramp it up if required
- Make every person feel special whether that was a song, a mention or acknowledgement no matter how busy or quiet the night was
- Communicate with the door and bar staff and react to celebrations or conflict throughout the night
Yes, some things are out of our control like a pandemic or government decision which can impact demand positively or negatively.
However, we are in control of some things. Being aware of these play a pivotal role in the success of our teams and businesses.
How can these lessons help you?
It might not be immediately apparent, but the lessons from the dancefloor apply to you and your ability to maximise improvement opportunities for your customers.
- How well do you know them? – Understanding why they use you, what they like/dislike and their future plans is key to building lasting relationships and not one off transactions.
- How do they feel? – The difference between a service and a exceptional service is how you have made the customer feel and how you then understand and react to those feelings.
- How do you personalise? – Every customer is different, but it is still useful to segment them as it becomes easier to manage relationships. But, remember each new or existing interaction provides an opportunity to personalise the service and demonstrate that each individual is important to you.
- How do you join the dots? – A customer’s experience stretches further than your team or business. When using you there may be partners, they engage with on your behalf and afterwards if they need something additional. Make this seamless. How you optimise the whole and not just your part is vital in understanding and delighting your customer.
Businesses who adopt and apply these lessons tend to be more successful for a number of reasons the most obvious one being relationship between the satisfaction of your customers and your business growth. For more other reasons and stats take a look at this article
However, I believe the most important reason is the link between the experience of your customers and the engagement of your people. The middle part or heart of our BEST model
Therefore, by raising the awareness, answerng the four questions above and then applying the learnings, excitingly you are opening the eyes of your people, making them think and hopefully enabling them to provide the service that makes you stand out.
In doing this you are also enabling yourselves to keep moving forward with your people and also anyone else who plays a part in the journey of exciting your customer.
So, in this challenging time, we cannot control everything, but there are things we can and although your dancefloor may have changed temporarily or for good you can continually strive to fill it by consistently understanding and answering the four questions above.
If this resonates with you, then let’s continue the conversation by emailing me firstname.lastname@example.org