I took my client on a field trip to the Apple store today – Customer Experience Design Strategy

Barnes and Noble Field Trip 2

This morning I took a team from one of my client’s branches on a field trip. We’re working to create the best possible customer experience in my client’s organization and I believe one way to achieve this goal is to learn from the best. So, I got everyone out of the office and we went to the Apple store and Barnes and Noble.

Before the fieldtrip, I gave the team a list of questions and observation points so that we’d make the most productive use of our time. At the Apple store, my team observed greeting upon store entrance, analyzed employee interactions and even got to see an Apple employee eloquently handle a not so happy customer. After the fieldtrip, we met in a circle in the mall and discussed our observations and explored ways they can take back some great ideas and adopt and apply them in their organization.

Apple store field trip

We left Apple and headed across the street to Barnes and Noble. The people at Barnes and Noble were so gracious and allowed us to explore, take up a lot of space, meet to discuss our observations and they even let us take photos. My team really walked away with a lot of customer service insights from Barnes and Noble.

Barnes and Noble Field trip

I love what I do! It’s great to make customer experience training and consulting hands-on, relevant and even fun.

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This may be the most creative web error page I have ever seen!

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Every website will experience server errors from time to time. Flickr.com found a creative way to announce their error with this image. A great and interesting photograph with a message is just perfect for a photo-sharing website. The image is so intriguing and the message so fun, that it’s hard for users to feel frustrated or impatient with the problem.

How might you make your customers’ experience a little more unique by customizing your website error pages? Here’s how we do it at MyraGolden.com.

See also:

Why Not Brand Your 404 Error Page?

6 Things We Can Learn About the Chat Customer Experience from Amazon.com

Yesterday I had to reach out to Amazon.com for customer support for my daughter’s Kindle Fire. I chose Chat for my help, and I’m so glad I did because I received refreshingly excellent service that made me say, “Now that’s Beyond WOW!”

Amazon.com Chat

Click the image to see my chat conversation

6 things  impressed me and made me say “WOW!” 

1. It was a holiday (Memorial Day), and the Chat representatives were working. 

This was super convenient for me as a consumer on my day off. Continue reading “6 Things We Can Learn About the Chat Customer Experience from Amazon.com”

Craft a Customer Experience that Leaves Customers Saying, “That was easy!”

That was easy

This morning I was going through a junk drawer in my kitchen and I came across the “Easy” button from the Staples advertising campaign, “That was easy.” I remember being in Staples nearly 10 years ago and my daughter kept pressing the Easy button at the register. She was quite amused with the simple button, relating it to the commercials she had seen. So I bought the Easy button for her. Not surprisingly, the novelty quickly wore off and the Easy button has probably been stashed in our junk drawer for years.

My first meeting of the day was with a client who is trying to create the best possible customer experience for her clients. As we talked, I thought about the “Easy” button that I had come across a couple hours earlier.  I told my client that we need to step back and ask ourselves, what do we need to do differently, better, faster, smoother or more refreshingly, so that your customers hang up thinking, “that was easy!”

The idea of making the customer experience quick, painless and easy is one that I think most companies can benefit from immediately. Ask yourself (or better yet, get your team together and brainstorm with them), what do we need to do differently or better to have our customers walk away or hang-up thinking, “That was easy.” Brainstorm. Plan. Implement. Blow them away!

I also did a quick video on my iPhone about the “Easy Customer Experience”.

P.S. I decided to transfer my Easy button from my kitchen drawer to my armoire of presentation props. I envision taking the Easy button to a presentation, pressing it, and building a point for finding ways to make the customer experience truly easier. 

I checked-in to my hotel room from the plane – such a great self-service option

One of the things I help my clients do is find innovative and relevant ways to improve the customer experience through self-service options. I always notice when a company delivers a great self-service option that customers find appealing. Last week during a business trip to San Francisco, I experienced a top-notch self-service option that I just have to share with you.

When I checked emails on my iPhone during my layover in Phoenix, I saw an email from Hyatt inviting me to check-in to my room via the web. All I had to do was click  “Web Check-In” and type in a few details. The web check-in page told me that I’d get an email when my room was ready. By the time I touched down in San Francisco, I had an email with my check-in confirmation and room number. Upon arrival, all I had to do was hold my smartphone up to the kiosk and scan my barcode and I was all set to go up to my room….and relax before my big keynote.


This email was such a welcome message in my inbox. I got my room number, directions to my room and easy barcode scan instructions.


The Hyatt web check-in was super convenient, quick and easy. For a busy business traveler like me, this convenience was very refreshing and welcome. Not only is this great for customers, but it makes things easier for Hyatt by minimizing lines and manpower at the front desk.

Consider one busy and potentially frustrating part of your customer experience and brainstorm ways you might introduce a relevant self-service option. Self-service options aren’t always the best solutions, but I always encourage my clients to brainstorm and explore. You never know when you’ll hit a goldmine. Think ATMS, airport kiosks, tollbooth passes….

Rethink Your Self Service Experience. Here are 2 Ideas from Target to Get You Started.

I was in Target yesterday and I noticed their nice self-service options. Need to quickly find a real person when you’re in electronics looking for a replacement charging adapter for your daughter’s Kindle Fire? No problem, just pick up the Red Phone and a red-shirted employee should be at your side in minutes. Can’t find the price for the Red Velvet Cupcake scented candle? That’s easy. Just hold the candle up to the price scanner and instantly the price appears on the screen.

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Target’s self-service options have cross-generation appeal. Baby Boomers, Generation X and Generation Y seem to use and these kiosks with satisfaction. How might you rethink your customer experience to deliver a faster, more enjoyable experience that helps customers help themselves – or get live help when they need it?

Myra Golden has spent 15 years benchmarking, interviewing and mystery shopping the best service companies in the world and in her keynotes she shares her insights to help her clients improve their own customer experiences. In her inspiring and riveting keynotes, Myra shares specific customer experience design details from the best service companies of our time: Apple, Zappos.com, Starbucks and Disney. Your audience will walk away with 4 powerful deliverables to help them create the best possible customer experience in their own companies. Explore Myra’s keynotes here.