Going topless to create engagement and raving fan customers?
I am driving through Los Angeles on the way to a meeting with a client and just passed one of my old raving fan customers from my Blanchard days. As I drove by their headquarters, it reminded me of one of the most powerful stories regarding how to create better experiences for our customers and our employees.
This particular customer was the largest operator of golf courses in North America. We were assisting them in enhancing the customer experiences through our Raving Fans implementation process. In one of our meetings with the executive team, a very peculiar issue came up in relation to their private country clubs.
This organization ran both public golf courses and private country clubs that they either owned and/or managed/operated. In this particular executive session, the President was commenting that they were having a challenge with all the very expense and high-end shower products.
It turns out that the members were taking the luxurious shampoo, conditioner, body wash and lotions home with them on a regular and ongoing basis.
We took this opportunity to create a powerful teaching moment with the executive team.
We asked the question; “What are you thinking about doing?” We heard all sorts of funny and absurd ideas as ridiculous as putting in security cameras in the locker rooms.
Given that we were holding this meeting in one of their private country clubs, I asked them if we could excuse ourselves for five minutes so we could go down and to talk to Jimmy. Jimmy, as it turned out, had been the locker room attendant at this private club for 22 years.
I said, “Jimmy, we are upstairs in a meeting with all the suits. One of the funny topics that came up is the problem with all the high-end shower products leaving with the members on a daily basis.
I said, “We don’t want to hassle the members and we certainly don’t want to create silly policies or procedures that would inconvenience them. What do you think we should do?”
Jimmy looked at us, almost quizzically and said simply, “Just take the tops off the bottles.”
When senior leadership has the humility to understand that most of the answers lie with those closest to point and circumstance (the front line) and are enlightened enough to listen to them, will engage their employees who will in turn create exceptional and memorable experiences for the customers or guests.
When we went back up to report our recommendations, it was received with resounding laughter and realization that this was the ultimate common sense advice.
So, the next time you are struggling with an obstacle or challenge, I encourage you to go to the person who is closest to the point and circumstance, and ask them, “What would you do?”
You will be amazed at the insights.
P.S. Don’t worry; I am in the passenger seat while typing this blog. I am just hopeful the meeting I am headed to is as productive as my meeting with Jimmy that day.