If you want to make your business remarkable and sustainable you need to deliver experiences that clients will talk about.
What are you currently doing to create memorable experiences for your clients?
There are specific things to understand about how to make sure your efforts will have the biggest impact.
Unexpected experiences that surprise customers are memorable.
Doing something unexpected is one of the ways to make your ideas memorable as discussed in the book, Made to Stick by brothers Chip & Dan Heath.
So when is the best time to insert caring experiences into your customer journey?
Another book by Chip & Dan Heath, The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact, has a great deal to teach us about this.
What Are Defining Moments?
Research has been done on the two moments that are most memorable from an experience, this is called the peak-end rule.
The peak-end rule is exactly what it says it is, that the peak of an experience and the end of an experience are the most memorable.
The Heath brothers argue that beginnings are also experiences that are memorable.
And so they use the term, ‘transitions’ which includes endings and beginnings.
Their focus is on three situations: “transitions, milestones, and pits (pits are negative defining moments of hardship or pain or anxiety).”
They describe a defining moment as, “a short experience that is both memorable and meaningful.”
“Trust is built in very small moments.” Brene Brown
So how can you focus on those defining moments for your clients in your business to create a delightful experience?
The first step is to learn more about defining moments.
According to the book, there are four elements of creating defining moments.
“Defining moments possess at least one of the four elements, but they need not have all four.”
4 Elements to Create Defining Moments
Elevating is about creating moments that really stand out. Moments that are memorable and delightful. “Moments that make us feel engaged, joyful, amazed, motivate.”
“To elevate a moment, do three things: First, boost sensory appeal. Second, raise the stakes. Third, break the script.”
Breaking the script is about doing something unexpected, something way above and beyond what is anticipated.
“Moments of elevation need not have all three elements but must have at least two.”
Insights are about the moments when someone has a realization about a situation and everything becomes clear and they know exactly what they want to do.
The book has a section called, ‘Stretch for Insight’ which includes a formula for mentorship that looks like this:
High standards + assurance + Direction and support = Enhanced self-insight.
“The promise of stretching is not success, it’s learning.”
Pride is about defining moments of accomplishment, success, and bravery.
“It’s usually having our skill noticed by others that sparks the moment of pride.”
This is about being seen by someone, about being recognized.
Recognition that is unplanned, frequent, and sincere.
Celebrate small milestones as well as the big ones.
Connection is about sharing defining moments with others. Things like: speeches, conferences and business successes.
It’s also about building strong relationships. About paying attention, listening, and being responsive.
There you have it, those are the four elements of creating defining moments. And remember, if you can combine all four into the experiences you provide for your clients, that is extremely powerful and using any one of them is also effective.
Challenge yourself to create something that is epic, not just an incremental step better.
Create Defining Moments in Your Business
Now that you’re aware of the framework, how will you put it into practice in your business?
Which one(s) of the four elements resonate the most with you and your business?
Begin by identifying important moments at the start, end, or peak of your work with clients and ask yourself: “How can I elevate it? Spark insight? Boost the sense of connection?” You can also use these ideas to turn a pit moment into a peak moment.
Here are some ideas to get you started (I hope it goes without saying that these actions need to come from a place of heartfelt sincerity and are not be used as a ploy):
ο Give a small, personalized gift (chocolate, cookies, brownies, fun office supplies)
ο Send a personal note in the mail (snail mail, you know, with a stamp)
ο Present clients with a certificate of completion
ο Buy a fitting book
ο Make a charitable donation in a client’s honor
ο Give a thoughtful shout out on social media
ο Mention a client in your newsletter
ο Give a gift card to a client’s favorite shop or store
ο Pay attention to the people your clients love most (their family)
ο Offer an additional product or service for free
ο Propose a client for a speaking opportunity
ο Celebrate in a group (online or offline)
ο Take a client out for cake and coffee (or wine and cheese)
ο Create a ceremony at the completion of your work
ο Make helpful introductions and connections
ο Refer new business to your client
ο Nominate a client for an award
ο Thank your client for your work together
ο Share interesting resources with a client
How can you celebrate your clients? What can you do to recognize them privately and publicly (with their permission of course)?
I hope you’re feeling inspired to imagine unique ways to give your clients amazing experiences.
If you enjoyed this, check out my post, How Caring More Can Set Your Business Apart.
For more on The Power of Moments, you can subscribe for free and then download a bunch of free resources at their website. Including: The Power of Moments 1 Page Summary and a Podcast – The Power of Moments for Customer Experience (23 minutes) among other resources.
And for even more information, check out this post from the Harvard Business Review, Welcome to the Experience Economy.
© Stephanie Ward
Stephanie Ward is the Marketing Coach for Entrepreneurs who want to create meaningful and prosperous businesses. Grab your FREE copy of the special report ’7 Steps to Attract More Clients in Less Time’ plus business building tips, at: https://www.fireflycoaching.com.
What ideas do you have about how you can create memorable moments for your clients? What special experiences have you had as a client?
Share your thoughts, experiences, and questions in the comments section below.
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