Great Customer Experience and the Simon Effect

Here are two real life examples of how a customer experience is critical to enjoyment of your product

I travel a lot with my consulting work – customer experience is important to me. I have a second life in hospitality. I love good food. So I’m always on the lookout for businesses that combine these elements well.

A positive customer experience

In a small town called Denmark on the South Coast of Western Australia, Simon made my day.Customer experience

Who’s Simon?

He works at the Denmark Tavern. I’d never been there before. He welcomes me warmly when I’m feeling puffed. (It had been a long day, including running a 5 hour training workshop and a 5 hour drive).

He offers me a small sample of one the fantastic local ales that they have on tap. He tells the story behind the producers of the ale. He gets me engaged.

Simon also lets me know that there are 30 local women arriving within the next 20 minutes for their darts night, so if I’m going to order dinner, now is the time.

He gets me to take action!

I enjoy every moment of my experience. The food is good, complemented by a local wine and I am entertained by the darts!

A not so positive customer experience

Back in Perth on the following Sunday we went out to breakfast at new café that we were keen to check out.

Unfortunately they didn’t have the Simon Effect.

Here’s what we observed:

  1. There was a lot of chatter between staff. Like, non-stop chatter!
  2. It was highlighted by two of them continuing their conversation, whilst customers arrived, stood in front of them at the counter and waited to be served.
  3. The whole time we were there an outside table remained uncleared.

On the upside…

The food was good – really good.

And we were asked “did you like your coffees?”

“Yes they were fantastic, thanks.”


This was followed by no response. The staff member walked off.  Leaving us with empty coffees (you reckon we may have wanted another one – just maybe…)

So what does this customer experience have to do with you?

No matter what business, government agency or industry sector you’re working in, people remember how they felt when dealing with you.

Of course, the result of the interaction is important. But if they didn’t feel welcomed, listened to, empathised with or understood, then no matter what you deliver, it’s rarely going to be good enough.

Your mission

In all your client interactions, use the ‘Simon Effect’ to check that you’re really connecting with your client – then they’ll happily take the course of action you’re looking for.

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Andrew Huffer

Andrew Huffer has over 25 years experience in working with organisations, businesses, managers and communities and at a state, national and international level. He designs and delivers specialist engagement processes, with a focus on facilitating open decision making processes and skill development of clients. He has delivered presentations and workshops at a number of state, national and international conferences.

Reader Interactions


  1. Michelle Walker says

    Andrew, I love the points you made. I just came off a call with a person that was distinctly lacking the Simon Effect. I’m going to think of Simon every time I have the opportunity to engage…
    thank you for posting,

    • Andrew Huffer says

      Thanks Michelle and so wonderful to hear from you! Simon got bonus points from me as he also asked the kitchen staff if they needed a hand with dishes and cleaning up! Always great to see someone with real passion in their role 🙂

    • Andrew Huffer says

      Thanks Pen – yep lots of great lessons in there. Looking to build on this in the Effective Marketing and Presentations workshop at Bendigo on 1st August. Am doing some promo videos for each workshop today. Cheers, Andrew

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