How do we become an experience? It’s a loaded question because there are thousands of ways to express it. Let me give you an example you might be able to relate to.
In most communities, there are many different mega retailers. The two most popular in the United States are Target and Wal-Mart. When I ask you to think about visiting Target and ask you to think about visiting Wal-Mart, you have two different opinions. Those opinions are conjured not by the merchandise because much of the merchandise is the exact same in both stores. Your opinion is formed by the experience. If you’ve been in both stores, can you guess who they would like to see as customers?
Target is more fashionable than Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart has billed itself as being all about the price for most of its existence. They can deliver a widget to a store and into your hands more reliably and at a lower cost than any other business in the United States. But for me, the guest experience is very bland. In the last few years, Wal-Mart has stated they would like to steal customers from Target and other big box retailers, but they have a challenge overcoming their long-standing identity as a discounter. Their staff is not savvy or intuitive, and much of the focus of their management relates to keeping costs down and keeping efficiency up. If you stand in the each business right at the time they open and listen in to a manager to employee meeting, they are completely different.
Both companies spend time thinking about the guest experience and, depending on your Target and your Wal-Mart, one of them is doing a better job.
When we start talking about guest experience in an entertainment center, where do we start? There really is no price competition because most of us don’t compete directly with other entertainment centers. Here are a few things to think about
First impression – how do the first 30 seconds of your guest’s experience go? Have you trained your staff on how to greet guests? Is the entryway welcoming? Does your team know how to use your point of sale system? It’s impossible for you to judge this because everyone in the building knows you’re the owner, but have a friend do it a few different times and report back to you. If you do not spend time on this, chances are you’ll get a variety of reports back.
The last impression – are you giving people reasons to come back? Are they leaving with smiles on their faces? The best and only chance to recover from a bad experience is the last impression. Think about where most guests are just before they leave, are you spending time with those team members on how they should leave that relationship with your customer?
Take a look at these two simple parts of the guest’s experience and see if there is something you could improve on.