>This past weekend for Mother’s Day, I was taken to what has been touted as the “perfect musical”. The production of My Fair Lady with the cast from Mad Cow theatre and live music from the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra certainly exceeded and delighted all my expectations.

Looking through the lens of the customer was thoroughly taken into consideration by the producers of this show. Everything we could see, hear, smell and touch became an integral part of the experience. The orchestra was placed on stage and the conductor could be seen throughout the production leading the notes and direction. While the stage scenery was minimal, it only seemed to put more emphasis on the actors and the musical lyrics.

What lessons in customer service were learned? Lesson One was the production itself. Obviously great care and preparation was taken to ensure the audience would be wowed by the show and all the details that it takes to create a seamless experience. Lesson Two came from within the story of the play itself. Eliza Doolittle is a poor Cockney flower girl who takes speech lessons from professor Henry Higgins, a phoneticist, so she can pass as a lady. After she has become quite proficient with the English language and mastered the characteristics and behaviors of a lady, she confronts the professor for not treating her any differently than he had when he plucked her off the streets of London.

She tells him “The difference between a lady and a flower girl is not how she behaves, but how she is treated. I shall always be a flower girl to you Professor Higgins because you always treat me as a flower girl and always will. But I know that I shall always be a lady to Colonel Pickering because he always treats me as a lady and always will.” How do we treat our customers? Do we treat each one of them as a VIP or do we treat some better than others? People will remember how they were treated far longer than they will remember you or the transaction itself.

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