I read an interesting post by Fred Reichheld's on the influencing effect of good customer experience in a way that happy customers and employees collaborating with each other and how this behaviour seems to extend between customers too. Reichheld writes:
"It didn’t take long to figure out that the caliber of customers who frequent a business - and the way they treat employees and one another- often play a vital role. In air travel, consider the difference between a flight where you’re sitting next to a noisy jerk on his cell phone and one where your neighbor sits quietly and maybe offers to share his newspaper. At a baseball game, a beer-swilling loudmouth can ruin the experience, while an avuncular neighbor who explains the nuances of infielder positioning to your kids can enhance it. In a hotel, you might have a thoughtful neighbor who keeps his TV volume low or an idiot who slams the door at midnight. In fact, other customers create a big part of our experience in retail stores, fast food, hospitals... most businesses, in fact."
I agree with him completely and this indeed has a huge ripple effect.It is true across some of my experiences too. One of them is Jet Airways. Every time I travel with Jet Airways in India, the consistency of the quality of customers who travel along with me and employee service is quite evident across cities. In fact, I would say that this also resets expectations of service within the company and helps them break their own benchmarks on this service. Also, the positive word-of-mouth is also a contributing factor. For example, I have seen many customers talk to me positively about their experience during flights and it has a lasting impact on the service levels of the employees.
This can be true of small companies too. Here's a small restaurant that has created a ripple effect and influenced my customer experience in Mumbai( India) called Rajdhani. What I really appreciate about this place is that they have a counter in front of the restaurant that has a count of number of "dinners or lunches" served till date! It runs into several hundreds of thousands of servings.This has a ripple effect on the pride of the employees serving you on the table. They are agile, involved, empathetic and quick to proactively respond to what you need. They have interesting signs through which they communicate with each other to ensure you are served without you asking for it! The customers in the restaurant too have a great experience which in turn converts into repeat customers and positive word-of-mouth.
Measuring or observing the ripple effect on your customers, between your customers, amongst employees and even with your channel( retailers) partners is a good metric of the quality of customer experience your brand is delivering in the market place.