Truth Number 4: You Must Manage Your Customers
Customers who can’t decide what to order at McDonald’s make the fast food less fast for everyone behind them. Airline passengers threaten on-time arrivals when they block the aisles while boarding. If a consulting firm’s clients describe their needs in vague terms, they undermine the value of the advice they get. Even if it’s just by showing up late for a dinner reservation (or by lingering over the espresso), restaurant patrons regularly disrupt their experience and the experience of other diners.
We’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the special role that customers often play in service encounters, a phenomenon we call the customer-operator. When it takes a customer five minutes ...