A few days ago I needed to do the difficult, disturbing, dangerous, disillusioning, depressing, despairing, disastrous date with the Department of Motor Vehicles to renew my driver’s license. The collective consciousness of America shudders at the thought, given all the horror stories we have faced in countless painful cases of red tape, bureaucracy, customer disservice, and unequivocal proof that Dilbert is alive and well at the DMV.

This time, however, was amazingly different. In fact, it was actually pleasant and helpful. The customer experience was far more terrific than I had ever experienced in the past or could even imagine.

Upon my arrival, I observed a set of front-and-center, can’t-miss-them kiosks. I instantly knew that I was supposed to do something at the kiosk. And so I did. It was a simple process of entering my name and my cell phone number. I instantly received a text that read:

Thanks! Your estimated wait is now 40 minutes. We’ll let you know when you reach the front. Feel free to leave until you are next in line.

Wow! Although there is a wait time, at least they were respecting my time and effort. Happily, I left the building to run a quick errand or two nearby. Upon my return, while resting a bit in my car, I received another text:

Status update from Driver License: Not ready yet, but your estimated wait is now 13 minutes. Please head to Liberty License Office.

Wow again! The DMV was doing something that actually was logical, sensible, and helpful to me! And all this wow stuff before I even got to the human.

It was only moments before a gentleman called me over for the renewal process. Instead of being greeted by someone who looked stressed, depressed, burned out, and mean, this person appeared invigorated, eager, happy, smiling, and kind.

Although all my paperwork was in order, I had a couple technical questions along the way. The gentleman patiently answered them. His boss is doing something right!

I cannot guarantee that your next DMV visit will be as nice as mine was. Each state and each office is different. However, my customer experience was absolutely stellar.

I somewhat hate to say it this way, but here we go: When even the DMV realizes the need to create a stellar customer experience, then you know that your organization can do no less. Your success and your organization’s success depends on it.

About James Meadows

Currently I serve as a training team manager for Johnson Controls at a customer-care center in Kansas City. Additionally, I am a business consultant, a freelance corporate writer, an Assembly of God ordained minister, a Civil Air Patrol chaplain, and a blogger. I believe we are living in the most fascinating times of human history. To maximize the opportunities these times present, I have a passionate interest in leadership development and organizational success, both of which I view as inextricably linked.

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