How Dweezil Zappa delivers a great customer experience
Brian Neale, from Cars.com, wrote me the following account of his experience at a Dweezil Zappa concert. The lessons about customer experience are so rich that I’m happy to share Brian’s email, with his permission.
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You know who gets CX?
After spending a few years slavishly devoted to learning his dad’s unique style of guitar playing, he re-launched his career as “Zappa Plays Zappa.”
Like most acts, he started tiny, despite a decent sized target market (mostly 50-75 year old dudes) who thinks Frank Zappa was god’s gift to music, politics and culture.
First time I saw him perform was about 5 years ago at tiny Morse Theater in Chicago. It had just opened and was devoted to good experience. For example, you could buy good beer. And drink it in a glass glass.
A few days before the show, I got an email from Dweezil himself, as did the other 249 ticket buyers who had provided an email during the ticket-buying process. He wanted to know what I wanted to hear.
When the big night came, he proceeded to play many of the top-10 requests, only omitting songs that were “too technically and emotionally difficult to tackle.”
In the words of the immortal Frank, “but he wasn’t done yet.”
Instead of a paper ticket, every ticket buyer got a laminated “VIP pass” for the general admission show. Halfway through the concert, he told us to look for a number on the back of the pass and drew a number out of a hat.
The winner was invited onstage to jam on the next song and got to take home a sweet replica of one of Frank’s iconic guitars.
Fortunately for the rest of his “customers,” the winner claimed to be a pretty good guitarist. If not, Dweezil was just going to teach him a couple chords and play something simple. Instead, he just said, “Awesome! Key of C…” and they started jamming. I was blown away. It was musical zen.
That code on our passes also allowed every customer to download the show we’d just heard a few days later – an unexpected novelty in 2008.
This is fresh on my mind as I just finished your excellent book, and because I’m going to see Dweezil for the 5th time tonight … and I’m honestly not even that in to more than 5% of Frank’s music. But I’m a Dweezil customer for life.
- Brian Neale, Cars.com
[P.S. from Mark: Here's a clip of a recent Dweezil Zappa performance showing the audience participation Brian mentions.]