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Lift your customer’s spirits, create a “Festival of Smiles” every day!

Art teaches us! To cheer up the entire country in the 1980s when the sugar cane industry declined, the Phillippines started the MassKara Festival each year and called it the “Festival of Smiles”. Just like that! No long discussion. Just a commitment to use art as a way to lift everyone’s spirits. What can you do right now, to lift the spirits of your customers?

Let’s talk about

  • The Phillippine “Festival of Smiles”/the MaskKara Festival
  • Today’s status quo
  • Lifting spirits as a cultural commitment

Festival of Smiles, MassKara Festival

Each October, in Bagalod, Phillippines, they have a large festival and create very detailed, huge masks in a competition. In this picture from the Guide to the Phillipines website you can see the detail and effort put into each mask. It all started in the 1980s when there was a dip in their sugar cane industry with the shift from sugar cane to corn syrup for sweeteners. To cheer everyone up, they started a Mask Festival to infuse happiness across the country. Today it has grown to be a major tourist attraction. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could find a way to make working with your company just like the long term positive impact this festival has had on Bagalod?


Today’s status quo

Are you too transaction based? Do things get done but is there anything in your approach to your customers that make them feel special? When you set up AI and automate steps, do you lose what might have been a great opportunity to make someone smile. Do the McDonald’s order entry screen make customers happier or just cold? Are you diminishing your festival of smiles or are you leveraging technology to create it? What can you do to move above the mundane?


Lifting spirits as a cultural commitment

The only way to really sustain great service is to have it be part of the culture every day. Yes, it would be great to just have an annual parade that creates smiles, but day in and day out is where smiles will matter most. Here are some thoughts:

  • Hyvee – At Hyvee, a cashier waiting for customers will help the customer in the next lane unload the cart. Simple.


  • Jumbo- As reported at, Dutch grocery store, Jumbo, has started a new program called Chat Checkout with seniors to help reduce the loneliness of these shoppers. Team members are encouraged to have a small conversation with seniors rather than rushing them along. Reducing loneliness.


  • AVEDA stores will walk around to the front of the counter to hand you your bag. Just a few steps and that shopper feels special.


  • GOOGLE maps will let you know the best way home as a message without having to enter the map info. No effort help!


  • Hertz Sales – At the Hertz used car lot, when I called to say I was coming by go ahead and make a purchase, the salesperson had already pulled the car up and left the heat just in case I wanted to drive it around one more time. Made them stand out compared to their competitors.


  • Create Technology for Smiles – I don’t have an example of this today, but find ways to use AI and technology for smiles not just cost savings!


Create your own festival of smiles every day! Make it a cultural commitment.  If you ever need us to check to see if that is happening consistently, just let us know and we can easily set up a mystery shopping program for you. Mary Furrie, CEO, Furrie Consulting, Helping clients create clarity around their customer experience.

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