Watching your child watch his first movie is a magical moment. At least for me, lover of all things story and film.
When we finally sat down with my young son to watch his first full-length movie at home, he was about two-and-a-half, I believe-old enough to (we thought) sit through more than a half hour show. Mind you, we limit how much TV he watches, so this was a real treat.
My husband and I made it a “movie night.” We told him about in advance so he could anticipate it, and we ate special treats as we snuggled up on the couch together. We watched Happy Feet. The details are hazy but I remember just watching him, wide-eyed and enchanted, and probably teared up a little as I caressed his soft cheek.
He didn’t make it through to the end that first time. You know toddler attention spans. But the moment was powerful: A memory I’ll never forget.
It wasn’t about the movie. It was about the experience.
You can take this same approach in your business: Don’t just focus on the product or service itself, focus on the experience.
In fact, customer experience is one of the top three disruptive marketing trends this year, according to Forbes.
If you haven’t already, do yourself a big favor and pick up a copy of Chip and Dan Heath’s latest book, The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact. It’s as delightful as their past books I’ve recommended to you, and it beautifully bridges both business and life.
The premise is that we remember and treasure special moments. But we don’t have to wait for them to serendipitously arrive: We can create them, and the book explored how. In their extensive research, they found that defining moments can be broken down into four categories:
- Moments of elevation: Something out of the ordinary, where you build peaks and break the script. Like my son’s movie night or a company flying their entire team to an all day offsite or offering an extraordinary, unexpected surprise to customers, like the Magic Castle Hotel in Orlando, Florida, which offers a “popsicle hotline” to guests, to get a popsicle delivered anywhere in the hotel, on demand, and served on a silver tray.
- Moments of insight: A moment that changes our understanding or teaches us something that may last a lifetime. These can be moments like when you met your spouse for the first time, or when a teacher finds a unique way to help a student see their future potential. Or when you enable your customers to discover and learn something that will change their business forever.
- Moments of pride: These are moments that we are at our best and celebrate our achievement, or courage. You can carefully construct these through what the Heath Brothers call “milestones of pride: stopping to acknowledge key points along the way to a big product launch or allowing customers to see their progress as they go and help them celebrate it, as in the case of the popular “Couch to 5K” program.
- Moments of connection: Defining moments are strengthened because we share them with others. These can be anything from an epic rock concert to a powerful company event. They can also be moments where you bring your customers together to share a memorable experience where bonds can form, whether in a mastermind group, an ice cream social, or an engaging, conference experience.
What can you do in your business–and your life–to create defining moments for your clients and customers? How can you think about shaking things up, allowing them to reach their own insights, helping them celebrate success or form connections with each other? The ideas are limitless with a little imagination and empathy.
I challenge you to find a way to create defining moments that will seal precious memories into the hearts of the people you care about most. These could be customers, but also your own friends and family. And it should be noted: The Heath Brothers claim that some of the most impactful moments are those that can combine all four characteristics in one go.
Seriously, please read the book, it’s that amazing! It’s entertaining, enlightening and inspirational. You will find opportunities to apply this not just to your business, but to also enrich your personal life! And here are lots of free resources and summaries you may enjoy from the book.