3 Customer Experience Lessons from the Star Wars Cantina

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With the resurgence of the Star Wars franchise and the release of The Force Awakens, there’s been a lot of excitement around our home. I loved the original Star Wars trilogy in the 70’s and 80’s and was delighted to see episodes 1, 2 and 3 come out in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. Now, I have children who are enjoying these iconic movies. With all of this nostalgia and excitement swirling around, I’ve been thinking about it in the context of Customer Experience. Perhaps we can learn a bit from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.

Diversity Rules

It’s a slippery slope to forget the wide range of needs and wants represented by customers. Let’s admit it, it’s easy to see customers as numbers or, worse, dollar signs. Businesses see groups of customers as trends, segments and buckets of data. When this happens, companies lose touch with their customers. They are all humans, so they all want the same experience, right? Wrong.

In the Star Wars cantina scene, we see an obviously diverse crowd. There are aliens from around the galaxy who are coming through this busy spaceport and they are stopping in for some refreshment and camaraderie. Many differents needs are represented and it’s a good reminder that our own customers are quite different, as well. To create a world-class customer experience, you have to understand the unique differences and needs of your customers. How do you understand them? Start by asking them for feedback about their experience with you. Surveys are a great way to collect feedback from your customers.

Word of Mouth Travels

Cantinas are naturally social spots. Lots of people in a small space, sharing their stories with each other. Sounds a lot like Facebook, doesn’t it? Well, each planet has places where people congregate and share information, be it planet Earth or Tatooine. People — and aliens, it turns out — are naturally social beings and they share information.

In the Star Wars cantina scene, we see Obi-Wan Kenobi searching for a pilot who can take him, Luke Skywalker, and their trusty droids to Alderaan. They’re looking for a service provider. As is the case today, people in Star Wars rely on others to vet the services they need. Have you ever seen a post like this on Facebook:

“We’re need to have a ceiling fan installed in our house. Does anyone know of a good electrician?”

In a world where people ask others for recommendations, it’s important to have a great customer experience. It’s no longer enough to listen to your customers. You have to use their feedback to improve your business. Ultimately, your reputation and business health depend on positive word of mouth marketing.

It’s OK to say “No”

Being a “yes man” is a dangerous proposition in any business. Sure, we listen to customers and we try to meet their needs. We have statements like, “The customer is always right,” but tucked behind all of that well-meaning language is the instinct that you simply can’t please everybody all of the time. Certainly, we want to cater to the needs of our customers, but comes a time where it is smart business to say “no.”

In the Star Wars cantina scene, the bartender identifies potential customers that simply are not a good fit with his offering. Though abrupt and abrasive, he quickly communicates that they don’t serve droids in the cantina. Likewise, it’s good to know who your customers are, and who they are not. If we try to please everyone, we’ll become so watered-down that that we don’t create an amazing customer experience for our target customers. It’s important to know your target market and create the world-class customer experience that will keep them coming back and recommending you to others.

If you’d like to learn more about how QuestionPro can help you implement a world-class Customer Experience program, visit us here:  https://www.questionpro.com/cx/