How To: Design Your Customer Experience

Today’s discussion is about creating your customer experience. I’m going to use a play as a case study, yes a play as in theater. The name of the play is Kakadu: The Musical. I had the privilege of being invited by a friend and jumped at the chance to go.

The experience was amazing, and when you find an organization that puts on a play with only two service glitches it is worth talking about. How do you achieve such a service record? By designing the product delivery/service process with the customer in mind. Here is what I observed from the outside for the Kakadu musical.

Get Your Process Down

Get Your Process Down

Marketing: This is something that is universal to all businesses – you have to market your product. By this point you should understand your target market enough to know the channels to use to reach them, and it goes without saying that you have to create a product that your target market wants to buy. I heard about the show via word of mouth, but to get to that point you have to push the message via other channels. Kakadu had several press releases in newspapers, a lot of people were talking about it on twitter, and there were radio advertisements.

Sell Tickets: Kakadu used quite a few channels to get their tickets to their target audience. The locations for ticket sales ranged from a grocery store (Goodies) to the venue (Muson Center) and a Jazz Venue (the Jazzhole) to the internet (Afritickets and Eventiso). Having multiple channels for product/service delivery is great because it gives you multiple avenues to reach your target market.

Deliver Tickets: If you bought the ticket in person you picked it up right there and then, and if you bought it online the idea was that you could print it out as well. It almost didn’t work out that way though for the latter, there were some issues with one of the online ticket purchasing platforms. This was the first service glitch as the platform didn’t provide any level of customer service; luckily the play organizers did what any good entrepreneur should do, they handled the problem. They picked up the phone listed on their contact information and sorted it out. When we got there and found out they had sold out of the regular tickets, they offered to allow us to upgrade to VIP by paying the difference.

Get them to their Seats: Rather than let us navigate the theater by ourselves to find our seats, they had really helpful ushers to get us to available seats with minimal disruptions to the people already seated.

Let them Enjoy the Show: This was the best bit. The show was amazing, the actors were amazing, and it was everything I didn’t know to expect from Nigerian theater. The set changes occurred in the dark right in front of us and the actors were totally engaged in each other. It was one of those plays that engagement with the audience was limited to the musical aspects of the show. The emotional parts of the dialogue struck so real they had me breaking out my handkerchief to catch my tears. If this show comes on again, go. In fact if I’m in town when it gets reprised, I will go again. It wasn’t all perfect though as there wasn’t an intermission so my throat was bone dry from all the laughing and cheering.

What can you learn from this?

  • Think through it all: Look through your delivery process through the eyes of the customer. What do they have to do to buy your product/service? Walk through it as if you were the customer and ask the following questions:
    • Where do they shop? How can I get my products there?
    • How do you intend to deliver the product? Is it a way that your target market is used to? Would it cause them any inconvenience? If it does, is it a deal breaker? Could it result in them being delighted enough to share their experience with their friends?
    • Is the product worth what you are asking for it? Does the product deliver on the value proposition that you have promised the customer?
    • Bottom line how can you make the whole process more convenient for the customer?