Having business experience vs. providing business experience — which is better?


Our agency has been hard at work this year redefining the word “experience” as it relates to our people, clients, and industry.

Ask any CEO about his or her company’s level of experience and you will get a laundry list of skillsets, processes, transactions, and successes. All good, right? These things support a company’s claim that they are uniquely qualified to do great work and that they are the obvious choice for the engagement.

The question is, does “past tense experience” (by itself) really differentiate you from your competitors? Does it exude passion, energy, and creativity? Is it sustainable? I would argue the answer is no.

I have yet to meet a leader who didn’t think his or her company had the best people, the best processes, and the best services. Many of them were actually “the best kept secret” to boot. Really?

Let’s imagine we sold our products or services based on the customer’s experience…not ours. Not on the experience you have, but on the experience you will give to them. Disney has more experience than any other company in the world building rides, creating shows, marketing characters, and selling stuff. Yet, they will tell you none of that matters. Their experience is measured from touch-point to touch-point, smile to smile, and memory to memory from the moment you drive through the gate.

As the largest single site employer in the world, Walt Disney World has figured out how to do it with roughly 54,000 “cast members.” It should be a whole lot easier for the rest of us.

Start by making a list of every touch-point a customer has with your organization, from the front desk to the invoice. Then get with your team and brainstorm how you can make each experience better than it is now and how you can make a few of them truly memorable. Get creative. If you want to be different, you need to think different.

If your team “gets it, wants it, and has the capacity to do it,” the experience you provide to every person your company touches can be Magical.

This post is co-authored by Mark Winter, Managing Partner at Identity PR.