A few years ago I delivered a customer experience presentation to a large group of senior leaders within an organisation. The focus of the presentation was to enable them to focus on the significance of the things customers remember. In the hustle and bustle of the business environment, we often do not take the time to focus on what it vitally important to the customers we exist to serve. We often do not take time to think of the effect our businesses can have on their day-to-day lives. Our businesses create memories – some of these memories will live with customers for years, some of them will not make it as far as the end of the day. The question is – what memories are being created – good ones, or bad ones?

At the European Customer Experience World (ECEW) conference in May 2012 (a customer experience conference  I would strongly recommend attending – http://www.ecew.co.uk/ecew/index.htm), I was fortunate to see a presentation from Royston Guest of Pti Worldwide. I have heard Royston speak on many occasions – he is a compelling speaker. Royston showed the audience a six-minute video – it was a training video created by Thomson – it is pure gold – if you do nothing else today – including not finishing reading this blog, I urge you to watch it:


I mean it – for the sake of six minutes – it will be time very well spent. The video starts with a quote from WB Yeates:

“I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams”

The video ends with another quote from whoever created the film:

“People trust us with their dreams. You can make them real”

Intended as a customer service training tool, the video will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. It hits at the very essence of what customer experience and customer service are all about. If you fail to understand that you are helping to define memories for real people, you will only end up creating the wrong kind of memories. Thank you to Royston for bringing this video to a wider audience. Thank you to Thomson for creating it.

It is videos like this that make us all think. What does it really feel like to be a customer of our organisation? Will our customers remember their experiences with us for the right or wrong reasons? If it is clear that all too often their memories will not be positive, then you need to do something about it. You might think that not being able to deliver a parcel in November is just ‘operational reality’ – but what if that parcel was a birthday present? Did you ever bother to find out? How many dreams are you breaking?

This may sound dramatic, but our lives are defined by memories – some very personal, some more mundane. For all organisations who serve customers – you will be serving memories  and fulfilling dreams on a daily basis. Do you know how good or bad they really are?

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