On-stage; where employees are likely to bump into customer.
Off-stage; where they are not.
It’s one of my favorite ideas from The Experience Economy is that of on-stage and off-stage.
Preventing off-stage behavior from occuring on-stage is the key to a good customer experience.
My wife has a recent example of where the two collided for a poor customer experience:
The Starbucks was busy when I got there. As I was standing in line, I overheard the barista on the phone:
“It’s real busy right now, I know I scheduled you for 6pm, can you get here by 4?….Hey, I don’t need that kind of attitude from you – especially over the phone.”
She hangs up, turns to me and smiles, “How may I help you?”
How large is “on-stage”? Big. Pine and Gilmore relay Jury consultant Robert Hirschhorn’s advise that law counselors to drive minivans because, “You never know when a juror is going to see you getting in or out of your car.”
UPDATE: Perception Analyzer has also noticed inconsistencies in the Starbucks experience.