I spent the day at Sea World in San Antonio with my family and as we went through the park I searched for signs of the digital and social media age. I was surprised not to find any. In fact, the amusement park today is much like the amusement park I remember as a child and teenager. The focus is on selling the season pass, the end-less refill soda, the gift shop at the end of the ride, and other extras not part of the base ticket price(not that I recognized that as kid). I did a quick scan on Facebook for Sea World and Six Flags and found they do have fan pages, but the pages appear to be more of a bulletin board for information. I didn’t see anything immediately engaging to the fans. So here are some quick thoughts about how amusement parks can use social media to engage their audience and employees better:
Last Sunday I took my son to see an Atlanta Braves baseball game at Turner Field in Atlanta. The customer focus, attitude and reception of the staff was excellent. This was not the first time I have received this exemplary service at the ball park. That tells me that this level of service is both taught and expected from the staff. Everyone we came in contact with, which included a parking lot attendant, turn-style attendant, program greeter, concessions worker and seat usher, greeted us with a smile and made sure that we knew they were thankful we had come to enjoy an afternoon of baseball.
I make note of organizations that deliver superb service. Two others that come to mind are Disney World and Chik-fil-A. The actors at Disney World, whether on stage or on the street, are always playing their part to make every kid feel like they are special. The parks are clean and attention to detail is second to no one. My experience at the Disney parks has been consistent through many visits spanning multiple years.
The employees at the two Chik-fil-A locations closest to my home always greet me with a smile, welcome, and a thank-you for coming. It’s not uncommon for me to hear “It’s a great day at Chik-fil-A, how may I help you today?”. After I receive my food and say “thank-you”, they always respond with “my pleasure”. Now how cool is that?? It’s even more amazing to me when I consider that the vast majority of the workers at the two Chik-fil-A locations are teenagers.
My point, is that organizations that ingrain customer focus into their culture make their customers glad they came. That’s good business sense and leads to repeated business. I’m sure there are exceptions to my experiences with these well known organizations, but it’s obvious to me that the leaders within the organizations aim to keep those to minimum while establishing top tier service.
From a business perspective, organizations that deliver world class customer service can charge a premium for their products. Think about it, Major League Baseball, Disney World, and Chik-fil-A are not the low cost leaders in their respective industries. But they are all well respected and customers are willing to pay extra for the service.
What about your list of world class customer focus organizations? Do you agree with my list? Do you have others to add?