The world’s best observers

By March 26, 2007blog

Last week I stayed at The Ritz Carlton. Checked out. A valet was standing at the back of my SUV and said “I loaded and arranged all your luggage so that you will have a clear view of the road through your rear view window.” I then went to get in the car and there was another valet standing there holding my door open and said “I put two bottles of water in your cup holders for your ride back to the airport.”

Wow! Someone at the Ritz must have observed the experience that their guests have driving two hours to the airport and thought about what would make it easier! They even have it in their Three Steps of Service… “#2 Anticipation and fulfillment of each guest’s needs”.

It dawned on me then that the next generation of best companies will be so because they are the best observers.

Organizations need to have more OBSERVERS… to watch how prospects and clients use their products and services.

Why do I feel stupid trying to open a new-fangled water bottle top? Or get frustrated calling Frontier Airline, spending 5 minutes navigating a phone tree, and then being on hold for 20 minutes?

Because they don’t have a Chief Observation Officer who can see how easy or hard of an experience their customers are having. I’m not talking about taking a survey. I’m talking about actually watching how they move through doing business with you.

I LOVE it when I come across an organization that anticipates my every need. They do it by watching lots of customers go through their process.

I believe most companies (including my own)…
1. Make changes when enough people complain
2. Think the little things aren’t all that important to do now
3. THINK they naturally anticipate peoples’ needs.

How to create exceptional organizations:
1. OBSERVE your customers and prospects
2. Make it EASIER for them.
3. Do it again.

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