The Perfect Customer Experience Should Sometimes Include Customer Controls

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I spent my weekend at Great Wolf Lodge. If you’re not familiar with Great Wolf Lodge, it’s a family indoor water park resort. It’s loud, chaotic, slippery, and dangerous. Kids love it. As I tried to calm my over-protective parent nerves, and rest my chlorine-irritated eyes, I did realize several important lessons.

The perfect customer experience should sometimes include customer controls
I think sometimes when we imagine perfect customer experiences we envision a world where the customer controls the “when, where, what, why, and how”. But the truth is, we the customers don’t always know what will create the best experience for us. The resort has a very impressive process in place, both for patrolling and safety, as well as enjoyment. I felt my children were looked after and that their care was always the first priority. They were even good about recommending activities based on arrival and departure dates. It would be a shame to have that glitter tattoo wash off on day 1.

Control is not always a bad thing, as long as the positive experience of the customer is a priority.

Perhaps there is one right way to do things

One activity my kids loved was the Big Foot Pass. It’s an agility and balance challenge, over the water. Kids navigate from lily pad to lily pad using an overhead rope. If I didn’t think my kids were different before, I’m now totally convinced. I watched my Daughter carefully walk her way across the lily pads, balancing and adjusting along the way. 10 minutes later, she arrived safe and dry on the other side. 10422298_10152574450481914_5163472259257742570_n

My son had a different approach. He decided that gigantic leaps would be faster. He would lunge from one obstacle to the next, forgoing the rope aid. After falling off each pad, and nearly knocking his front teeth out, he made it to the other side after the lifeguard went in after him and pulled him out.

In business, there are multiple ways to get things done, but try to pick the path the doesn’t require someone bailing your butt out of deep water.

A little visibility goes a long way
When we arrived we immediately hopped on the water slides. While my Daughter tends to be overly cautious I was surprised at how scared she was. After 3 water slides she wanted to spend the rest of the evening in the wave pool. The next morning I tried to convince her to give the rides another chance. She would hear nothing of it. As I was looking up I noticed how I could practically see through the water slide tubes. That’s when it hit me. The night before we went on those rides in total darkness. I talked her into another ride, during the day, and she loved it. It wasn’t the water slide she feared, it was the darkness that was off-putting. With a little visibility she could see what was coming up around the bend.

Provide your customers with visibility and insight into their business. Clarity can generate tremendous confidence for your customers, and success for your customers is success for you.


Marilyn Cox

Marilyn Cox is the Director of Marketing for Second City Works - the B2B division of the famed Second City.

You know the buzzwords; inbound, outbound, content, demand gen, lead gen, martech, social media, account-based, advocacy, customer success, sales enablement, and analytics.She studies it, plans it, executes it, experiments with it, and loves it.

Through discovery, creation, and innovation she's learned to say "Yes, And".Like business, her career is one big improvisational act.

She leads all aspects of the brand and culture, developing and executing a clearly defined, integrated marketing communications strategy.Marilyn is responsible for planning, organizing, staffing, training, and managing all marketing functions to achieve objectives of growth, awareness, customer success and making work better.

Marilyn exists to empower sales and support the customer. When not geeking out over marketing analytics, she can be found daydreaming about her unrealized dream as a professional wrestler with the WWE.

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