What lies beneath the surface?

It’s Halloween.  Woo-hoo. For some people it’s a favorite; for me not so much.  But, to show support for the people who look forward to Halloween, I decided to pick a somewhat ominous title for this edition of our blog. So here it goes.

From books, to movies to famous quotes, what lies beneath the surface is more often than not riddled with danger. In a movie, it’s usually the scary part where we over our eyes and scream when the “what’ is revealed. Are you with me so far? That’s great because now I am going to talk about customer experience. Yep, that’s right – customer experience.

Follow my thoughts here for a minute. This week I attended the Cleveland Clinic CARES About Parking Symposium 2015; an event that brings together parking professionals for networking, sharing best practices and discussions on new trends and technologies. As attendees shared their stories, it reminded me that things aren’t always the way they seem at first glance. For example, using a parking garage for the most part is pretty mundane; you pull in, grab your ticket, and find a space and park.  It’s a pretty seamless process. Under the surface, it’s a totally different scenario.  Behind the scenes, an entire network of people are focused on making that parking experience the best it can be; researching, testing, eliminating challenges, adding new equipment, testing out new procedures, hiring the right personnel. It’s like a duck in a pond – smoothly floating along on the surface and paddling like crazy underneath.

Customers don’t see the “paddling like crazy underneath”. Their experience is based on what’s above the surface. In my parking example, they don’t know that three employees called off sick and left you shorthanded. They just know that they waited 15 minutes in the line to pay because only one lane was open. They don’t care that there’s a big convention in town, they only know that they can’t find a space in the lot and they are already late for work. Customer opinions are formed by their experiences. Create experiences that keep them coming back. Find out “what lies beneath” in your organization and make sure it works. If you don’t the results could be pretty scary.

Posted by MJ Thomas

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