My favourite bit is….. Can you compare your customer experience with a good movie?


Everyone (at least almost everyone) has a favourite movie. Whether it be ‘An Officer and a Gentlemen’, ‘ET’, ‘Gandhi’, ‘The Sound of Music’ or even the latest Bond movie – ‘Skyfall’. We all love going to the cinema and being ‘wowed’ by the stars of the big screen. Now you may be wondering why I am rabbiting on about the cinema in a blog about customer experience!! Well let me tell you why.

The concept of the customer journey is becoming more commonplace all over the world. With the help of customer experience professionals, organisations are acknowledging that the customers they serve experience a ‘journey’ – not a process or a series of processes. It is important when introducing the concept of the ‘customer journey’ to an organisation, you are able to explain it in a way that all levels of the business will be able to relate to. Having a variety of appropriate analogies ‘in your pocket’ is a huge help. That is where the movies come in!

Do you remember the bit in ‘When Harry met Sally’ when Meg Ryan gets a little excited in a diner? I am pretty sure that if you have seen the film (and I may be showing my age here), you will not need me to describe what happened in detail!

What about the bit in ‘Titanic’ where Kate and Leonardo are standing on the front of the ship?

Or the bit in ‘there’s something about Mary’ when Cameron Diaz applies some ‘hair gel’ ……

I am not sounding very cultured here am I?! Whether you like these films or not, I remember these particular scenes because I consider them to be the ‘best bits’ – the ‘wow moments’. I talk about these scenes to friends and family. When I recommended that people go and see a movie, it will have been these scenes that I referred to in my recommendation.

I my mind, the experiences we have on a daily basis as a consumer are no different to the experiences we have when watching a movie. All movies have a beginning and an end. All movies have bits in the middle. If you consider the customer experience that your organisation serves to its customers – what kind of movie might they be experiencing?

Ask yourself the question – can your customers recollect the best bit of the experience – the killer scene? Or is the only scene in the movie they remember a bit of a ‘horror story’? The memorable elements of a customers experience are akin to the ‘best bits’ in a movie. Customers will not necessarily remember anything else about the journey. I certainly do not remember every other scene in ‘When Harry met Sally’ – but without the rest of the movie, the infamous scene in the diner would not have been possible.

Transacting with Amazon, for example, is often a rewarding experience – they are not widely regarded as one of the most customer centric retailers on the planet for nothing. But what are the Amazon best bits? The ‘one click’ checkout is fantastic – I always remember that bit. The fact they know who I am and let me see things personalised to me – that is pretty good to. I do not remember the look and feel of the website – that is pretty standard and not very exciting. I do not remember the delivery driver. Buying something from Amazon is like watching a good movie. It has its memorable scenes, with ‘glue’ that joins the rest of the journey together – not memorable, but essential to make the ‘end to end’ experience happen.

I once asked a company what the memorable ‘scenes’ were in their customer journey – they could not give me any. Why will customers return to experience a journey that does not contain anything positively and emotionally memorable? We often hear professionals talking about the brilliant basics – the art of getting your customer journey to just do what it says it will. If you can add a bit of WOW to the brilliant basics, you have the formula for a brilliant customer experience – one that will have customers coming back for me, as well as telling everyone they know.

So what do you want your customer experience to feel like?

1. ‘Batman and Robin’? One critic said of this film:

“[The cast] is quite a line-up, boasting a broad choice of dramatic styles, and what lends the movie cohesion and integrity is the fact that all those involved have come up with their worst imaginable performances. You sit there feeling brain-damaged and praying for the mayhem to cease.” – Anthony Lane, The New Yorker.

2. Or ‘The Godfather’? One critic said of this film:

“The wedding sequence… is a virtuoso stretch of filmmaking: Coppola brings his large cast onstage so artfully that we are drawn at once into the Godfather’s world.” –  Roger Ebert – Chicago Sun – Times

In researching for this blog, I came across a couple of interesting ‘movie’ websites. If you are interested, have a look here – http://www.empireonline.com/500/ and here http://www.filmsite.org/scenes1.html

As always, I welcome any comments on my blogs – if you just want to tell me what your favourite scene in a movie is, then I would be delighted to hear it!!

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