It will be very rare that someone intent on improving the customer experience for his company will come up with an idea that is brand new. Better to use the CASE Method to enhance the customer experience. CASE stands for “Copy and Steal Everything”. If you feel uncomfortable with “Steal”, then “Copy and Save Everything”. Be more intent on observing within and outside of your industry for ideas that you can CASE. Then tweak the idea to make it your own.
For example, Doubletree Hotels is synonymous with the chocolate chip cookie upon arrival. So can you CASE that idea and tweak it a little bit. Rather than chocolate chip cookies, could you come up with a cookie that uses a regional ingredient? For example, when I was GM of The Inn at Bay Harbor in North Michigan, on Friday nights, anticipating family arrivals, we offered apple caramel cookies. To tweak it a bit, we also offered hot apple cider in the winter and crisp cold apple juice during the summer.
The Hotel Monaco was famous for having a pet goldfish in every room. We had only two at The Inn, Reni and Mari, who lived in a fishbowl at our front desk until a guest wanted to take one of them up to their room to join them. Rarely were Reni and Mari at the desk. More often they were taking a staycation with our guests.
There is a hospital in our community that has CASE’d ideas from the hotel industry. These days a private room in a hospital costs as much as it does in a Ritz-Carlton. So this hospital has CASE’d some experiences of a Ritz Carlton with valet and doorpersons and a pianist in the hospital lobby.
CUSTOMER CASEPOINT: So what ideas can you CASE for your company? Everyone these days has a camera built into their cellphone. As you walk about shopping or sightseeing, can you identify and photograph some idea that you can CASE to enhance your customer experience.