My wife and I were walking along Congress Street in Portland, Maine on the way to a restaurant. About half a block from the restaurant, I noticed a man picking up a chewing gum wrapper off the sidewalk. I didn't think much of it, until I later recognized that same man inside the restaurant, as an employee.
Well, it turns out this is a common practice for employees of that restaurant - they know that the two-block walk from the parking lot to the restaurant entrance is the route that most of their customers walk, before going inside for dinner. They see that two-block walk, though outside the restaurant, as the beginning of their experience inside the restaurant.
Even though it's not part of the restaurant, they know that their customers' minds are already in dining-out mode, once they park their car and begin that short walk. Since the employees think of the walk as part of the customer experience, they take it upon themselves to make even this remote pre-dining experience a positive one. And that means a neat and pleasant walk on the way to the restaurant.
Even if their customers don't consciously see it this way, their minds are making the connection subconsciously.
The Point is this:
Employees - all employees - need to be cognizant of the customer experience; they need to understand how to think like a customer; how to see things as their customers do, and most important, to act on that customer perspective. Doing so creates a Customer Experience State of Mind.
And the state of mind - how a person views the world around them - drives their behavior. It was a Customer Experience State of Mind that drove the restaurant employee to remove the gum wrapper from the sidewalk, on his way into work.
As an employee, do you have a Customer Experience State of Mind?
As a manager or business owner, do you take steps to instill a Customer Experience State of Mind in all your employees?