Chuck E. Cheese’s…A Love Story?

by Jeannie Walters

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I’m not that kind of mom. I deprive my kids of adventures to places like Chuck E. Cheese’s. However, we’ve attended birthday parties there and gone with friends, so my older child saw a 6th birthday party in his future. And just to seal the deal, after my nonchalant “We’ll see” responses weren’t enough commitment, he brought home a card on Mother’s Day. This is 2 months before his birthday, mind you, with “Mommy, I want to thank you for my birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese’s” scrawled on it. The kid will be either a master negotiator or politician.

So I was stuck there. There’s no turning back from a message scrawled in kindergarten letters. It got me.

So I signed up. We will be celebrating his birthday on Sunday, a week past the official 6th anniversary of his birth.

Here’s where the love story starts. Signing up online was easy, with plenty of options. (Although the automatic talking helpful chick needs an auto-off option!) They make it clear it’s about the kid (get over it, Mom!); they make it about convenience; they make it easy to personalize.

Yes, there are gimmicks and silly things like the “Star” package v. the “Superstar” package, but overall it’s easy.

So here we are, 2 days out, and I feel…dare I say it?…relaxed. I could adjust the number of kids and change my mind on the goodie bags and cake until 48 hours before the party. Phew. The showroom manager just called to reinforce the idea that they do everything. “We want you to sit back, relax and have fun.”

Lordy, I hope she’s right. Because here’s the thing – as a “working” mom (aren’t all moms working!?) I value this type of convenience above almost all else. The only thing higher on my priority list is that my 6 year old gets the Chuck E. Cheese’s party he’s been dreaming of for months – and they’ve instilled faith they’ll deliver it.

This is a great example of the bookends of experience. I already have had a good experience – the set up was easy and they’ve given me a sense of confidence in the party experience. If all goes well, and I expect it will, I will remember this first phase as a customer as a high point – something I’ll share with friends – or you, dear readers. 🙂

So, thank you, to the big strange mouse and his pizza posse for making this mom’s week a little bit easier.

POSTSCRIPT: Party went well, employees were kind and manager made sure it was birthday boy’s special day. 🙂

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Jeannie Walters

Jeannie Walters is the CEO/Founder of Experience Investigators, a global Customer Experience consulting firm. She has 20 years of experience helping companies improve loyalty and retention, employee engagement, and overall customer experience. Jeannie is a Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP,) a charter member of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA,) a Professional Member of the National Speakers Association, LinkedIn Learning instructor, TEDx speaker, and President-Elect of the National Speakers Association Illinois chapter. Learn more here.

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