The Customer Experience is All About Your Vantage Point
Recently, I found myself on a vacation out west. My wife and I were enjoying the Scottsdale area and staying in a resort a short distance from Camelback Mountain. During our second day of the trip, I had a realization.
This resort really understood how to create an incredible customer experience.
Let me begin by stating something you may already know. Customer experience isn’t simply another term for customer service. As consumers, we all expect solid service. But the experience is the end result of the total journey someone has with your product or service. It’s more than just stops along the way - it’s the sum of every stop, filled with nuance, detail and perspective. Sometimes, the details are so small that you don’t even notice them (Disney, for example, excels at this). Others cause you to stop and simply appreciate the detail and think - hey, this is kind of nice.
Back to my vacation. This particular resort has a long history in the area. Its adobe-style guest rooms clearly honor the heritage of the west, although they’ve clearly been updated. Each room had a small balcony or porch, and there were lots of plants and trees planted in the area. Clearly, this is an area designed to reflect a certain style.
So what caught my attention?
It was so clear that this resort carefully considered every vantage point of its guests. As we walked to dinner at the resort, I tried to find a porch or even a room window with a mediocre view. You know - when you open your curtains expecting to enjoy the great outdoors, but are instead treated to a sputtering HVAC system or the roof decks of five other buildings.
But the more I looked, the more I noticed that each tree, flower, grassy area, sculpture and even bird feeder had been intentionally placed to create an environment of relaxation. Each vantage point was considered - from every single window, each view was as complete as could be. To achieve this, no detail was too small. I had the sense that the property owners truly cared about what elements I would see at all times - even as I sat on a giant oak chair out front to watch the sun grace the mountains each morning.
A vantage point, by definition, is a broad and favorable view. The key to the power of customer experience is exactly this: it’s being able to see everything from the customer’s viewpoint. Your perspective doesn’t really matter to the customer - from production, facility management, operations or manufacturing. The only truly valuable vantage point is your customer’s.
But customer experience design isn’t just a matter of considering multiple vantage points - it’s making each a priority. Intentionally place items along the customer journey that show you have considered not only their point of view - but the point of concern for your audience. And even though audiences change and vantage points move, your pursuit of them should remain constant.