September 13, 2006

Meticulous Adjustment

There is a young man standing outside the automatic doors of a market, hands on his waist, leaning forward ever so slightly, examining with utmost concentration, peering with intense focus. He is an employee. Walking back and forth in a triangle, looking like Groucho Marx without a cigar, he triggers the mechanism that opens the doors. Then he reaches up with some eccentric-looking tool, inserts it in the mechanism, and twists the tool a few times.

Triangle, twist. Triangle, twist. Triangle, twist. There are at least three people watching him, curiosity plastered across their faces. He is utterly indifferent. Triangle, twist. Triangle, nod. He disappears inside.

When is the last time anyone at your organization took the time to adjust the automatic doors? That young man took a considerate, prideless action in order to ensure a flawless customer experience. Do you think his manager asked him to do it? Doubtful. It was, most likely, a function of his personality fundamentals. The market benefited from having him as a part of their culture because their culture supported his unique, ingenious effort.

Precisely adjusted doors may not be as remarkable as the $18.69 jar of Himalayan banguberry jam on the top shelf in aisle nine that has a viral internet marketing campaign behind it, but every small detail considered reduces frustration by at least twelve times the effort required to address it in the first place. Does your culture support the creation of a better experience? The better question is, "How does your culture support the creation of a better experience?".