Perhaps it started with Star Wars. Maybe it was ET. The satisfaction of movies in the sixties, gave way to religious fervor for the works of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg. Audiences not only went back to see a movie again and again, but they had to take their friends. There was a quiet revolution as the public moved beyond customer satisfaction and moved to customer “wow”.
Give the customer what they want . . . and then surprise them with an additional “wow”.
In the 1990’s, the new focus was on the customer experience. In a landscape filled with choices, the newest thing to “wow” became the pabulum of countless new TV channels. The advent of VCR and DVD created an unquenchable appetite to be entertained. The latest game consul and subsequent game introductions rivaled the profits of movie blockbusters. Wow. The internet gave birth to free information and liberation from publishers. Wow. Car manufacturers were kicking and screaming in their new roles as software companies. Expectations were for cars that not only worked, but interfaced with the latest smart phone. Wow. Airlines arrived on time and with your luggage. Wow. Cut the land line and trash the personal computer . . . I have my new phone. Wow.
Unlimited Abundance – “When you do what you do so well, that when others see you do it, they want to see you do it again . . . and bring others to share with them, what you do.”
Michael Vance, 1st Dean of Disney University
While associations started to panic at the arriving downturn of membership, a few new entities saw explosive growth like the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA). Books documented the arrival of the this new world order like Jim Gilmore’s Experience Economy. (see: The Experience Economy: Work is Theater & Every Business a Stage by B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore)
But the smart are ever looking toward the future, and the customer experience was about to be injected with rocket fuel.