Take a minute to think of the last time you had a really comprehensively “good” customer experience. Close your eyes and reimagine it.
Now, take a moment to consider the last time you had a really mediocre or even negative customer experience. If you want to close your eyes go ahead. Maybe it just makes you simmer….
Which one of these instances was more recent? Which one of the scenarios is more prevalent and common? Was either of these related to beer?
If you are fortunate to be in the former, congratulations! Don’t let the goodness stop there. Ask yourself: do you extend that same positive experience forward, in your work? If you’re female what was the experience like and all about? Do you believe that being a female had anything to do with either a positive or negative event? If you’re a man, did you witness or experience any indicators that gender was a conscious part of the interactions?
As humans we judge. We often plug-in our predisposed feelings, opinions, and ideas before we engage. Prejudging is bad for everyone. Suspending judgment is better, digging into the experience with an open mind and smile, waiting for the actual to unfold.
Here’s one example for me. When I started presenting to audiences years ago, I always wanted a couple of things. One, for the audience to be full – the room and all the seats to be packed. Two, that everyone in the audience would be leaning forward, asking questions, and visually actively engaged and engrossed.
The reality is this: One – as long as the right people make up the audience, I’m happy, no matter the size. “Right” meaning those who really want to be there and are fully engaged in the event. Two – everyone listens and takes in an experience differently. The person with arms crossed and the back row sitter who looks like they are planning their grocery lists are often the ones taking it in the most completely.
So I’ve learned to suspend judgment and assume everyone is listening. I address every single person in the area, whether they are part of the obvious audience or not, and include them in the dialogue. Every time I am happily rewarded by comments from various guests who comment, ask, and in general indicate they were in fact fully listening.
Your guests, audiences, and customers are always listening. While you can’t necessarily tell precisely when and how they are listening, how much they are taking in or how much they are talking about you afterwards, they are.
When you’re talking about and with women and beer, I can guarantee they’re paying attention. Be very sure to include them respectfully in your interactions. What you say is as powerful as how you act so be sure to factor those aspects in as well.
Your brand depends on consistency of expectations and delivery. Work hard to make sure you know this, always bear it in mind and delivery the best experience you can, every time.
To you it may be old hat, to them assume it’s brand new.