All organizations, knowingly or unknowingly, build messages to their customers (Guests) into the settings in which they operate.
Consider these pairs:
- A luxury car dealership and a used car lot
- A theme park and a traveling carnival
- A designer clothing retailer and an outlet store
In each pair, people are buying a similar product – cars, entertainment, and apparel. But in each case, the setting in which they buy these products is communicating a great deal about the quality of the products and services customers can expect, not to mention the price they are willing to pay.
The simple fact is that everything, animate and inanimate, speaks to customers.
The above words come from “Be Our Guest,” the fantastic customer service book published by The Disney Institute. Talk to me very long about Guest Services, and you will hear me talk about Disney – probably several times!
Yesterday it was about Process; today, it’s all about Place. When you think about a physical setting, it’s appropriate to start at Disney and understand what they call “the magic of setting.”
Setting is the environment in which service is delivered to customers, all of the objects within that environment, and the procedures used to enhance and maintain the service environment and objects.
- Architectural design
- Directional designs on flooring and wall coverings
- Texture of floor surfaces
- Focal points and directional signs
- Internal and external detail
- Music and ambient noise
- Touch and tactile experiences
Quite a list, right? Remember that when considering Guest Services…
From Be Our Guest, by the Disney Institute