What is the secret behind a remarkable shopping experience? After a visit to London’s Gap, Nike and Harrod’s, I would say: to see employees enjoying themselves at work. One of the ‘laws’ in theatre is: the more YOU are enjoying yourself on stage, the more you will catch the crowd’s attention. The more you will touch their hearts. They will identify with you and be a part of the story you tell.
At the Nike store, the employees (they didn’t behave like “shop assistants“, they rather owned their space) looked like personal trainers for every level of sportive ambition. Dressed in Nike gear, dancing, having fun, helping you when you need it and leaving you alone when you feel like walking around the store. At Gap, the bourgois chic salesguys and girls noticed what you were wearing and complimented you on that (especially if you wore Gap, but still). One Gap saleslady taught me a trick that will help me in all future-shopping-for-pants: if a pair of pants fits over your forearm (fist closed), it fits over your hips. Teaching a customer a shopping hack is the best way to show you are happy to help !
These people ‘lived’ the brand in such a way I think what they did wasn’t 100% random. Spontaneous, but no improvisation. In one of the first books on customer experience, The Experience Economy, Pine & Gillmore regularly refer to street theatre when they explain how to create a wow-experience. A street artist has a number of acts up his sleeve and he performs them in an order depending on the interaction with the crowd.
Thank you Eagle Eye Cherry for the blog title. The rest of the song is a warning not to take drugs, so I’ll just stick to the title here. Before you and your team start servicing customers, ask yourself: are you still having fun?
P.S. Were some of those employees at Harrod’s (the rather stiff ones) not having fun? Maybe. Or maybe keeping a distance is a trick up your cufflinked sleeve when you work for a brand that is far away from most customers’ budgets.