The focus this week has been on how we each stage experiences … by design or by accident.  All work has an experience component that IS staged.   Chances are good that it may have components of all 4 types of theatre: Improvisation, Platform, Street, & Matching theatre.  (See Parts 3 & 4 from earlier this week)

Jake & friend at Dogma in Ann Arbor - Photo by K. Macdonald

The bottom line is that those who provide the best experiences are those who embrace their roles and LIVE the part.  Just around the corner from my office is a wonderful eclectic pet store, Dogma Catmantoo.  Although owned by an MIT grad with a PhD, Alice Liberson, the store’s most intriguing employee is actually Jake … a yellow lab with a Facebook account (Jake At Dogma).  Even non-pet owners drop by to see Jake knowing that every interaction will result in a memorable experience.  Sales have been known to drop when he occasionally misses a day.

While Jake has the advantage of good breeding and being wired to consistently stay in character, we could all learn from Jake when it comes to delivering great experiences.

  1. Assume EVERY encounter will be a good one.  Jake assumes everyone entering the store has come just to see him … and he shows it.  His ears pop up and the rest of his body telegraphs his delight in seeing you.
  2. Be patient & follow the guest’s lead.  Jake can provide each of us with a lesson in patience.  If you don’t respond to him immediately, he just stays with you.  He will follow you to the cat toys or the fish food.  He stays in character; happy to hear whatever you have to say.
  3. Give a signature farewell.  Jake escorts every guest to the door and no one leaves without a wag of his tail and good-bye.

Sometimes it is just that simple.