Action and America: How our cousins across the pond use immediacy to improve Customer Experiences…..

Author: Colin Shaw

Having worked in the UK and US for some time I have grown to love the land of Uncle Sam and consider Americans as our close cousins. As Winston Churchill famously said “We are two nations separated by a common language.” But I think a bit more separates us.

Two things come to mind.

Now before I start, let me be very clear – I love England and I am very proud to be English. However, I do think we in the UK tend to look at the world as if the glass if half empty. Having had an office in Atlanta for 6 years, and now with a house there as well I’m spending half of my year there. With Americans I find their attitude is ‘glass is half full’. This positive attitude is infectious and drives the economy and the resulting American entrepreneurial nature. They celebrate success, aren’t hindered by a fear of failure, and do not resent success as we seem to do in the UK.

The second area I admire is the speed they work when there is an opportunity. Here is a prime example: Whilst we in the UK are all worried about what to do about the Volcanic ash clouds across the country, someone at Sea World has seen this as an opportunity and is offering a free day in one of the parks for tourists stranded there. What a brilliant idea. The story has created a wave of positive news reports about the park and no doubt vastly improved brand perception… whilst no doubt providing an unforgettable customer experience for the troubled tourists.

Another great example is ‘Cell (mobile) phone parking lots’ at airports. We all know that when we are picking up friends and family from an airport we say “When you come through just give me a ring and we’ll drive around and pick you up”. In the UK, people park everywhere – many illegally. In the US they saw this was a growing trend and acted quickly. Many airports have now implemented ‘Cell phone parking lots’ . The parking lot in Tampa, Fl. has an information board showing when the flights will be arriving and even provides rest rooms for the waiting drivers… all of which is obviously free!

I think we have a lot to learn from our cousins over the pond; how to be more positive and turn adversity into a opportunity to deliver a great Customer Experience.


By Colin Shaw | Published: April 19, 2010