Barclays Center Employees, Not the Royals, Are the Real Stars of the Show

Posted On December 12, 2014
By Ari Ashkenas

Throughout my life I’ve been fortunate to attend many sporting and entertainment events, from Broadway shows to baseball games and everything in between. Up until now I’d never experienced exceptional end-to-end customer experience at any venue like I did at the Barclays Center in Downtown Brooklyn this past week.

Let me set the scene: Lebron James, the best player in the world, was dancing down court while Jay-Z and Beyonce were sitting courtside and rooting for their beloved Brooklyn Nets. Also in attendance: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (Will and Kate).

Seeing the future King and Queen of England, one of the best athletes in the world and two Grammy winners all in one venue was actually kind of cool, but what impressed me most from the time my wife and I stepped through the door was how outstanding the customer service was.

In his book, Exceptionalize It!, Lior Arussy explains when presenting to clients at workshops and conferences, he gets the occasional “we don’t have the margins to do all this” or “we don’t have the time to deliver exceptional experiences.” Each time someone had an excuse for not giving customers a memorable experience, Lior would simply answer, “how much does it cost you to smile?”

It is the truth. An authentic smile and kind gesture towards a customer does not require a large investment, stakeholder buy-in or a steering committee to approve it. The simplicity and authenticity of this act will keep your customers engaged and coming back for many years.

Well, my wife and I saw authentic smiles and kind gestures from the moment we walked through the doors to the moment we left to drive home. The staff was courteous and kind, helping us locate the restaurant we planned to dine in, showing us our seats and even taking photos of us near the court.

I took a step back at one point to see if it was just me who was being graciously helped during my stay or if this superior service was simply the norm. Everywhere I looked fans from all walks of life were being guided and chauffeured from one experience to the next. Yes, we were in awe of the historic moment in front of us on the basketball court, but we’ll never forget how the staff made us feel. We can’t wait to go back to another event.

When you empower and engage employees, they’ll make the personal decision to provide exceptional customer experience – creating great memories that will last a lifetime.

Click to Tweet: An authentic smile: no investment / stakeholder buy-in needed. Creates positive, long-lasting memories for customers.

Learn more about Employee Engagement: 

Engage your employees beyond the survey – take action 

The No. 1 Enemy of Customer Experience Transformation

Free download: Creating a Culture of Employee Delight 

Webcast: Employee Engagement: Proven Methods For Lasting Impact