I am writing this post from 3 perspectives:
- as a frequent visitor and local homeowner on Aruba who appreciates the uniqueness of all that is Aruba
- as a North American customer experience expert and thought leader on how organizations keep their brand promise
- and perhaps . . . as an adventurer and curiosity seeker
So here is my story. I have been to Arugas to fill our BBQ tank many, many times over the 4 years we have been homeowners on Aruba. I have always been "curious" by the process by which one must go through to fill their BBQ tank. For those who have been through this incredible process, you will appreciate this story . . . but today, really set a new standard for what I can't quite describe but pretty much belly laughed at every aspect of our experience . . . almost . . .
Step #1 - security guard (employee #1) must admit you to the property by lifting the entry gate. . . he is a serious guy
Step #2 - the BBQ tank receiver (employee #2) demands that you write the license plate number of your vehicle on your BBQ tank with black magic marker and provides you with a hand-written record of your purchase . . . being we rent our vehicle each time we visit, our BBQ tank may look like a 5 year old passport in no time.
Step #3 - the BBQ tank filler (employee #3) fills your tank (after waiting your respectful turn for 30 minutes) and returns it to you.
Step #4 - after loading the said filled BBQ tank to your vehicle, you must queue up and wait in line to pay at the ONE cashier (employee #4) who will process your payment (about 25 AFL or $15)
Step #5 - you then must move your vehicle a FULL 10 feet ahead to have a second security guard (employee #5) check your receipt, ask you to open the trunk of your vehicle, verify the license number of the BBQ tank you filled with your vehicle license number, then put a hole punch in your receipt and authorize your exit form the terminal . . . .
Now while this may, depending on your own customer experiences from wherever you originate from, land between surreal to sublime . . . keep in mind . . . all this takes place within a physical space of approximately 50 meters by 50 meters where all 5 employees can visually see each other . . . okay, might I venture on ridiculous!
I must admit . . . I scratch my head and giggle every time we drive to fill our BBQ tank . . . thinking there is a very logical explanation to this all . . . but after spending an hour and a half to fill our BBQ tabk today. . . I do wonder if they recognize us poor lemmings as customers at all . . .
So, customers of Nordstroms in the USA . . . rejoice in every purchase you make knowing full well that the employee who served you gets their credo . . . do what it takes to SERVE the customer!