The benefit of living in Silicon Valley is that the weather is beautiful most of the year and even in warm weather one can drive 4 hours to Tahoe to go skiing. We woke up at 5am and drove to Tahoe, arriving at 9am. When we woke up, the temperature was 47 and rose to 62 on the way, but dropped down to 45 by time we were at the ski resort. BTW: We drove back the same day and it was 75 when we got back.
I was concerned that there would be no snow, but there was snow everywhere. Five of the six chair lifts were open. The resort had made some fresh snow the night before and plowed the mountain to ensure that there was no ice. Even more amazing is that there was almost no one on the mountain. As I was getting on the lift for my 6th run (having skied 18 during the day), I realized how amazing it was. There was:
- Great snow
- Beautiful weather (it was 60 when we left the mountain)
- Gorgeous surroundings
- No lines
- Friendly people
You can imagine how beautiful it was. I can still enjoy the feeling of peace and tranquility. We were lucky!
What made this happen? Not all the elements were in control of the resort. They did have control on where they built the result, they do have control, at least to some extent, of the snow (at least keeping it groomed and making fresh snow–temperature permitting), and they did have control of ensuring that the staff was helpful and friendly. The beautiful weather was certainly out of their control and although this weekend was advertised, the lack of large numbers of people was somewhat out of their control as the weather caused folks to think that there was no skiing. There’s nothing like skiing in 60-degree weather on a beautiful mountain with good snow to stamp an indelible feeling.
For your company, what are the key elements that if the stars aligned would allow you to deliver the “perfect” customer experience? Not all are under your control, but if you focus on what is, then you will put your firm in a position to allow all the stars align to deliver your customer’s “perfect” experience. I’ll tell you that it is something they will not forget. Whether it’s a retail experience or a business program executed extremely well delivering above-and-beyond results, the perfect experience will be remembered. Think about it, plan for and execute it.