Building a better customer experience is top-of-mind for most every brand today. A recent Customers 2020 Report notes that by 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. Many will say it already has.
Though the recent LEGO Movie was geared towards kids and kids-at-heart, it offered a subtle (or maybe not-so-subtle) business message to build on. Here are three LEGO-inspired tips for building a better customer experience:
1. Even ordinary team members can become legendary heroes. In The LEGO Movie, the perfectly-average, rules-following Emmet who’s so vanilla that even his co-workers can’t think of anything special about him, falls upon a situation that could make him a legendary hero.
Every day, anyone representing your brand can create a hero story, and LEGO as a brand and as individuals representing it, is well known for this. Take for instance the story which involved a seven-year-old’s letter to LEGO to replace a Ninjago Jay ZX minifigure. Another hero story came when LEGO sent a surprise gift to a child who had saved his money for two years to buy a train set, only to find it was out of production when he finally had enough money to purchase it. A little above and beyond goes a long way.
2. Micromanaging can take all the joy out of the customer experience. Will Ferrell makes a surprise live-action appearance at the end of The LEGO Movie as the control-freak dad who has built his own LEGO city and won’t let his son create his own LEGO experience. In the computer animated portion of the movie, Ferrell is also the voice of Lord Business, whose army of automated micromanagers destroys unique creations that make individual LEGO members happy. Long story short, he’s seen as the bad guy.
Said Ferrell in a USA Today interview about the role, “I have had moments where I have sat down to help my son build the Millennium Falcon and have literally told him to leave the room because I have to finish this one part. He can join me later. And I literally build it like for an hour,” says Ferrell. “But then it’s like, ‘My God, what am I doing?…’”
Brands must keep in mind that all customers use their products and services differently; they engage differently – and so do employees. No two customer experiences are the same, nor should they be. They should be crafted to create happiness and satisfaction for each individual.
3. Don’t get stuck in set ways; empower employees to elevate your brand. As LEGO fans around the globe will attest, instructions are great to have and follow, but sometimes the most amazing results come from the ideas you get building on your own or as part of a team. In The Lego Movie, Lord Business strives to put an end to individual creativity and make everything eternally uniform by spraying all the bricks with Krazy Glue, but LEGO members work to preserve the joy in individual engagement and creativity.
Business leaders such as Richard Branson say that allowing, if not empowering, individual engagement is the key to elevating both your brand and its customer service reputation. “To achieve consistently terrific customer service,” Branson said in an Entrepreneur interview, “you must hire wonderful people who believe in your company’s goals, habitually do better than the norm and who will love their jobs.
“Make sure that their ideas and opinions are heard and respected; then give them the freedom to help and solve problems for your customers. Rather than providing rules or scripts, you should ask them to treat the customer as they themselves would like to be treated — which is surely the highest standard.
“Doing things better doesn’t have to cost more — all it takes is a little creativity and attention to hiring, training and management.”
So keep the fun in customer service. Think outside the box. Empower employees. Encourage and craft individual and satisfying customer experiences, and work as a team, and brick by brick, watch your brand’s reputation for amazing customer experiences grow.