I wouldn’t label myself a jet-setter, but I have flown my fair share of flights and some have certainly been better experiences than others. None of them, however, have come close to the experience some WestJet passengers in Canada received this holiday season. In case you haven’t seen the YouTube video, you should take the time to watch. Disclaimer: you may want to do so in private so colleagues don’t see you cry.
The message I took away from this video, (besides the obvious one: if I am ever asked by a Santa in an airport what I want for Christmas, I should not hold back) is that with the right people and the right technology, WestJet was able to deliver an experience tailored to each individual. The WestJet business model is not gift giving; they are an airline with a mission to provide “safe, friendly, and affordable air travel” (WestJet Mission Statement). Even if the WestJet gift box technology was just a way to amuse kids while they were waiting in the terminal, it would be safe to say that provided a pleasant customer experience. In reality, this technology did much more than that. It allowed a team of WestJet personnel to customize the traveling experience and delivered its customers joy in an unexpected and creative way.
As consultants, it is our job to listen, document, and design solutions to grant the wishes of our clients—and most of the time client wishes aren’t as straightforward as a big screen television or a warm scarf. Companies must do the same with their strategic approach to customer experience: we all must listen to what customers are not saying and pick up on queues, analyze our data, and deliver an experience that gives our stakeholders something they didn’t even know they wanted. Now that is the ultimate customer experience.