An incredible journey - enhancing CX

Lean is all about creating value to your customer whilst eliminating waste. Value is what the customer is willing to pay for. Value is what the customer uses to make their buying decision. Customer experience comes into this scenario. Adding value to this experience can set you ahead of your competition.

An exercise I have used a couple times in manufacturing and construction to spark the thinking in terms of enhancing the customer experience is the story of the incredible train journey. See below…


The exercise below was originally created by one of our partners Jane Hodgson at Big Lever Learning. Stole with pride and used with joy!

An Incredible train journey…

I hadn’t used the train for years, I’d always found them to be inconvenient and not particularly welcoming.  However I’d heard good things about them since [insert company name]had taken over running the service and so, for my recent trip to London I’d decided to give them another go.  I drove to the station and was surprised to find there was very little traffic; every set of lights was on green and I breezed straight through.  Arriving at the station, I was delighted to find someone there waving me into a parking spot, right in front of the station.  Wow!  Today was looking like a good day already.

The walk from the car park to the platforms was straight forward and as I arrived, I saw the train was already in, with the doors open, as it if were waiting for me personally.  Upon embarking I noted the carriage was full, with the usual crying children, raucous sports fans and teenagers with tinny music blaring out from 2-watt phone speakers.  “Great” I thought “not going to get my month end report done on here today”.  Just then, a smartly dressed attendant smiled and said “This way madam, we’ve been expecting you”, leading me into another carriage.  As I walked through those doors the noise and hubbub simply melted away as I felt the soft pile of a luxurious carpet gently caress my feet.  “There you go madam...” said the attendant, pointing me to a sumptuous leather armchair, “I hope you don’t mind but we’ve taken the liberty of preparing a coffee for you, and here is a selection of newspapers you may wish to browse”.  I checked my ticket, I was pretty sure I hadn’t opted for first class.  The attendant explained the other carriages were not operated by [insert company name]; it was some complicated franchise system that I didn’t really understand.  It seems however that this was the standard [insert company name] experience and all [insert company name]customers were given this treatment.

Throughout the journey I was attended by the same person that greeted me.  She was attentive but not overly so, personally I don’t like too much of a fuss, but the important thing is whenever I needed anything it was as though she had already thought of it.  Phone charger, lap top table, private bathroom, light snack... all provided effortlessly.  Even things I didn’t know I needed, like a head massage were offered – and gratefully accepted.  When I arrived for my meeting in London, I was relaxed and refreshed, my report was done and I’d even had time to sit back read the papers.  The attendant accompanied me off the train and to the car park where a car had been provided to take me to my final destination,  I must say, this impressed me the most, even after I’d ‘finished’ with their service they continued to take care of me and treat me like a VIP.

My perception of train travel has flipped 180 degrees now and I’m going to ensure now that [insert company name]trains are my first choice for transportation and I’ll certainly recommend them to my network of friends and colleagues. 


Your scenario is:  Customer visit to a project site

In pairs or threesomes:

  1. Instructions – write a story in the first person, the eyes/voice of the customer, envisaging the future state, one year from now. – in relation to the scenario.

  2. Be creative, but within realms of possible with pushed boundaries

  3. What does this experience feel like? Who are the key stakeholders, enemies etc

After 20 minutes as a large group:

4.      Decide on one dream story for your group

After a further 20 minutes use the next 35 minutes to:

5. Think of ideas of how to make this story a reality

6. From these ideas create 10 actions to implement

7. Use the Action Prioritisation matrix to prioritise and log your actions in terms of what, when and who.


The same exercise could be run for your employees. EX ( Employee Experience) is what attracts and retains your top talent. What do your employees experience now vs what is within your grasp to create?

Our team have developed an expertise in facilitation, we are often used at clients conferences running similar exercises like the one above, or it could be devising future state aspirations or lessons learned on a project. If you need support to get teams working together on the real issues and opportunities in your business, please get in touch using the button below: