I was skiing over the holidays at Lake Louise and at Sunshine Village. Both great places to ski, but the customer experience at Lake Louise is just superior in so many ways, from the quality and variety of the food to the fact that the chairs are real (not attached to the table like a high-school cafeteria).
They bring a lot of extra touches to their operation. Over the holidays, they were playing pleasant generic seasonal music over loudspeakers. They had Santa skiing around the place (here's my shot of some little girls following him down the hill).
Santa made an appearance in the main lodge, and was available for photos at no charge. They took one with my camera, but also took one with their own camera and sent it to my e-mail. That's the one below, right. Now isn't that a nice way to build an e-mail list?
Plus they were giving out candy-cames to everyone who got a picture.
One of the things I notice is that good experiences aren't just good because the BIG STUFF is good. The LITTLE STUFF is also good. If you want to improve customer experience, you don't have to wait for the giant, innovative comet to come hurtling at you out of the sky. Instead, you can steadily work to light up little stars all over the place. If you keep at that, all the customer focus this generates will make it much more likely that you'll see the big innovative opportunities.