International Case Study On Implementing A Successful Event

HOW DO YOU TURN 17,000 PEOPLE, WHO’VE NEVER MET EACH OTHER, KNOW LITTLE ABOUT THE ORGANISATION, AND MAY NEVER HAVE WORKED WITH CUSTOMERS BEFORE – INTO THE PEOPLE WHO MADE THE LONDON OLYMPIC GAMES THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH?

We didn’t call them Games Makers for nothing. Our vision was always that the Games would never be just about sport, or about London, but would be the people’s Olympics. It would be the chance for EVERYONE to be part of the greatest show on earth – the athletes, the spectators and the volunteers themselves. The Games Makers were absolutely key to achieving this.

I firmly believe that any organization can aspire to get their people to do the same. Given the right motivation, training and support – all kinds of ‘ordinary’ people can do the most extraordinary things and really bring an organization’s purpose and vision to life.

For the Olympics, 3 things were key to success:

  1. An absolutely clear sense of purpose – Games Makers weren’t just trained to do specific tasks and make things run smoothly; the focus was on giving them a real sense of purpose. They knew they were a vital part of something important – so that they had a real emotional connection to the games
  2. Personality above script – specific training was important, but it wasn’t about scripts and prescribing exact behaviours. It was more about ensuring they understood their role in making the games happen in a fun and caring way. We wanted above all to allow their personality to shine through and let them to be spontaneous in creating those little moments of magic that turned the spectator experience into a memorable one.
  3. Their role was elevated – this is really important. They were never treated just as functional deliverers, or as ‘temporary staff’ – their role was respected as much as that of the athletes. Everyone was give the title ‘Games Maker’ and it immediately gave the whole team a sense of what their role was and what they were there to achieve.

There is no doubt that the Games Makers grabbed the hearts and minds of our nation and the world.

Just imagine if you could harness that spirit for your organisation.

THE ONLY WAY TO DEFINE THE EXPERIENCE YOU GIVE YOUR CUSTOMERS IS TO MAP OUT THEIR JOURNEY ACROSS ALL TOUCHPOINTS.

The customer journey map, or experience blueprint, will show the points of pleasure and pain you are putting your customers through, and whether you are delivering your brand values throughout the journey. It can also highlight opportunities to deliver those magic moments that can elevate their experience.

Journey mapping used to be relatively straightforward – a nice linear journey from search to purchase and post purchase, stopping off at a few other touchpoints on the way. But over the last few years multi-product and multi-channel have added new complexity – not only in the additional number of products and touchpoints, but also in the way these are joined up. Customers can go back and forth amongst the various touchpoints, in no particular order, sometimes interacting with each simultaneously.

Regardless of how haphazard the journey appears, customers now expect to receive a fluid, seamless, consistent and personalised experience, whether it’s in-store, online or mobile – and in whatever order they choose. They don’t see any of these areas as separate places to shop or interact with the brand, they see them as one.

So how do you approach this when defining your customer journey?

This is by no means a simple task, it involves working with the whole business to get a holistic view of how you are treating your customers. The major challenge is to keep the approach simple and not let the technology define the journey for you. Keeping in mind the following fundamental principles can help:

  1. Start from your customer’s perspective, not the organisation’s – until you’ve experienced the actual journey your customers take, you can’t begin to empathise with what they go through.
  2. Identify the pain or stress points – ensure you think about your most valuable customers and their top expectations. Where are the points of pain you are putting them through? Note also the inefficiencies, redundancies or inconsistencies in how customers experience your brand.
  3. Identify the opportunities – look for the ‘cracks’ or hand-offs between existing touchpoints eg the interval between making a purchase on-line and the actual delivery of the goods. These are areas that are often ignored. Look also for those touchpoints ignored by your competitors. These are often key opportunities to differentiate.
  4. Identify your hallmark touchpoints. These are the ones that deliver most value to your customers, differentiate your brand and emotionally engage your customers.
  5. Think beyond the accepted beginning and past the perceived end. Although many companies create amazing purchase experiences, the post-purchase experience is often not given the same priority. Post-purchase is the point where you can nurture, grow and bond with your customers.
  6. Don’t ignore the ‘feedback’ touchpoint. How, and when you ask customers for feedback – and respond to it – are important touch-points. Whether it’s through a survey, or a review on Trip Advisor or a comment within social media, make sure you create a touchpoint that enables you to influence that experience of your brand, but without it being onerous for the customer.

Above all, be very clear about your purpose and your brand values and the extent to which you are delivering these at each touchpoint throughout the journey.