Watch or Get in?

Recently I went to Great Wolf Lodge, an indoor hotel/waterpark with my little family. We had a blast…my kids did not want to leave.  We spent a lot of time going down water slides and getting water dumped on us.  While we were there, I noticed many parents just sending their children off to play on the slides and activities, as they remained comfortably seated at a table doing crossword puzzles or tinkering around on their phones or tablets.  Their children would come and check in from time to time.  The parents and children would laugh together about what fun the experience was.  Then the children would bolt off, get back to having fun, and the moms or dads would get back to what they were engaged in.  Understand, that I’m not looking to make judgements about those parents.  What I would like to do is think about whether or not the experience could have been better, if mom and dad were sliding down the slides with their children rather than just providing the experience?

I’m sure you’ll guess that my wife and I were racing our kids down the slides not just going down with them.  It was awesome…during that time we found out which slides our kids liked the most.  We helped them go down those slides more often and encouraged them to try new ones so they could try them all out. The kids loved seeing Gina and I get excited and pumped about going down the next slide.  What made the experience in my eyes, was the interaction. The water slides were secondary.

It made me think…Am I getting on the water slides with my customers?  Do I really get to know what they enjoy and how to encourage them to try something new?  Do I see our interaction as the most important thing rather than the service I provide?  Of course, I would be doing my job by just providing what is asked for and then hanging tight until something else is needed. But wouldn’t the experience be better if I was right there understanding what is needed without waiting?  If we get on the slide with our customers we can ultimately provide the best experience outside of what is required.  Don’t just watch…get in.

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