Adam Lawrence has put together 12 Tips from Showbusiness to apply to Experience Design:
Storyboard your highlights: BoomWowWowWowBOOM!
Plan your experience like a Hollywood movie; have a great opening impression, a series of highlights, and a finale that tops even the opener!
“The Making of” – show hidden values
People are interested in what happens behind the scenes – so think of ways to show your qualifications, techniques and cast in an interesting way. This adds value for the customer!
Add prequels and sequels Impress customers by extending your service before and after the normal contact period. Surprise them with an early “greeting”, or by thinking of them months later.
A movie can have all the glitz in the world, and leave you cold. Experiences are the same. To give meaning, make sure your offering resonates with your customer’s view of the world.
Build a stage Your layout and design should reflect the Boom-wow-wow-wow-BOOM! of your storyboard. Remember to allow for quiet between the highlights. Don’t let your customer see all the stage at once. Have your main traffic way curve “round the corner” (or show light from round the corner) to make it more interesting.
Define your backstage and think about exits What happens backstage should stay there – unless you deliberately show it. No sound, smells (especially) light from backstage should reach your customers.
And tell your people that the way they enter and leave the “stage” sends a powerful message…
Get the light right!
The right light is amazingly important. Light your entrance and highlights well, and have cooler areas between. Hide the light sources, unless they are a feature. Usually, you should avoid white light. Reds and warm lights make use feel warm and beautiful, cool colours make us feel sophisticated.
Costume is far more than just CI; it tells your customers how to interact with every one of your people. What signals do you want each of your crew to send?
Make sure too, that your people can customise their costume to fit their personality.
Practice every aspect of your customer contact! Start with rough rehearsals, and work up to the general rehearsal with all props on the real stage. Put an experience designer, a colleague or – if you are brave – a customer in the director’s chair.
Get the lines right There are some lines your people will say every day. Think about them, hard. There at least one thousand alternatives to “can I help you?” – so make sure you try them all. Comedians tell us that hard consonants work best – so go for a crisp sound.
Let stars be stars Any waiter can wait tables like Pavarotti sings, if you let him. Ask your people how they want to do the job, then support them in their performance!
Timing is everything As you move beyond service towards experience, your sense of timing will have to improve. You will not think in days or hours, but in minutes, seconds, and even – one day – fragments of seconds. If you get it just right, you will amaze.
I like it. It resonates with my tips for creating transmedia properties, which I deliver using theme-park design and universe-design (!!) analogies…