Amazing! Can you leverage technology beyond just POS simplification or just to compete with online retailers?

Yes, this really is a gigantic stage.  To create an experience, theaters often know no limits. Are you limiting yourself? Are you absolutely certain that your new use of technology is the only customer experience change your customers would like to see? Or, are the technologists only pushing efficiency, not really something new and exciting? Yes, automating processes is a guaranteed ROI, but what else do your customers want?

Theaters could just memorize their lines and say them back to you, but they don’t. They literally create a multi-sensory experience, not to create more work for themselves, but to draw you in. For your enjoyment. After WWII, without a stage, this Austrian town set up 2 barges in the water and used the hillside bank as seating for their Opera. In 1999, that same theatre build a multi-story skeleton hovering over a large open book to create a fantastic scene for the Bregenzer Festspiele (Bregenz Festival) performance of Verdi’s opera “A Masked Ball” . The 7,000 seat theater on the banks still exists today.

Electronic backdrops

Have you thought about bringing that photo shoot right into the store? Let your actual customers replace the models when they look in the mirror. Now, that would be fun. Or maybe it’s backdrops on large screens of local events. It wouldn’t take much to take some photos of local places so people can see themselves already at the event. Why not?

Simple things while eating

Or, just do a few simple things at your restaurant. I notice just down the street that LaRosa’s Pizza is having a magician there one night this week. How fun is that! I’d go! And kids would love it. Or maybe it’s just a simple extra thank you or some added nice phrase, like “have a wonderful night”. It all adds up. Don’t be drawn to saying it only to the extroverts, say something extra to your introvert customers too. Create great experiences by being creative even without technology.

Use large screens or
short videos

Think about using technology everywhere. Have you ever seen a couple out to eat in complete silence? Maybe, have them watch a short film about how their meal was made. Or, give some background on the recipe. Better yet, do some focus groups and see what would make things more enjoyable for them. Ok, it sounds crazy but what about a chef in a hologram?

Look around-Service IS Art

Finding that balance between too much theater and keeping things to your more traditional brand image is key. But, think beyond pick-up lanes, new ordering terminals and online retailing. Check out what’s really trending visually from now or the past and see if you can add that to the vision for your customer experience.

Mary Furrie, CEO, Quality Assessments Mystery Shoppers, www.qams.com, Our blog finds ways that art teaches us about service. QAMS helps corporation create consistency with mystery shopping services.

Image from Mind-blowing Opera Stage in Bregenz, Austria” by lavina, Tourism On The Edge, November 30, 2010

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