Our lives are measured in moments. Defining moments endure in our memories.
Metronome’s Tip Top Business Growth Summit first speaker, Chip Heath, The Power Of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact author, shared the Magic Castle Hotel as an example of the power of moments.
Magic Castle triumphs over competitors like the Four Seasons Hotel at Beverly Hills and the Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles. Magic Castle’s reviews are stunning: Out of more than 2,900 reviews on TripAdvisor, over 93% of guests rate the hotel as either “excellent” or “very good.”
How can it be one of the top-rated hotels in Los Angeles?
Start with the cherry-red phone mounted to a wall near the pool. Pick it up and someone answers, “Hello, Popsicle Hotline.” Minutes later, a staffer wearing white gloves delivers your cherry, orange, or grape Popsicles. On a silver tray. For free!
There’s the Snack Menu, a list of goodies—ranging from Kit-Kats to root beer to Cheetos—at no cost. There’s also a Board Game Menu and a DVD Menu, all loaned for free. Three times a week, magicians perform tricks at breakfast. You can drop off unlimited loads of laundry for free washing. Clothes are returned later in the day, wrapped in butcher paper, and tied with twine and a sprig of lavender.
What the Magic Castle has figured out is, to please customers, you need not obsess over every detail. Customers forgive small swimming pools and underwhelming room décor if some moments are magical.
Watch this customer's one-bed suite walk-through/ review from July 2017. At the 2-minute mark catch customer experience moments.
Some moments are vastly more meaningful than others. For tourists, the Popsicle Hotline is a 15-minute experience that pops out of the surrounding vacation trip to Hollywood.
How to Create Defining Moments – Four Elements
Moments matter. We shouldn’t leave them to chance. Teachers can inspire, caregivers can comfort, service workers can delight, politicians can unite, and managers can motivate. All it takes is a bit of insight and forethought.
Defining moments possess at least one of the four elements below, but they need not have all four. Many moments of insight, for example, are private—they don’t involve a connection. Here are some examples:
ELEVATION: A love letter. A ticket stub. A well-worn T-shirt. Haphazardly colored cards from your kids that make you smile with delight. (You pick up the red phone and someone says, “Popsicle Hotline, we’ll be right out.”)
Create an Elevation Moment, watch Dan Heath’s A Well-Designed First Day:
INSIGHT: Quotes or articles that moved you. Books that changed your view of the world. Diaries that captured your thoughts.
PRIDE: Ribbons, report cards, notes of recognition, certificates, thank-yous, and awards. (It just hurts, irrationally, to throw away a trophy.)
CONNECTION: Wedding photos. Vacation photos. Family photos.
This “moment-spotting” habit can be unnatural. In organizations, we are consumed with goals. Time is meaningful only insofar as it clarifies or measures our goals. The goal is the thing.
But for an individual human being, moments are the thing. Moments are what we remember and what we cherish. We might celebrate achieving a goal, such as completing a marathon or landing a significant client—but the achievement is embedded in a moment.
We don’t average our minute-by-minute sensations. Rather, we tend to remember flagship moments: the peaks, the pits, and the transitions.
These situations deserve punctuation:
Transitions, like milestones and pits, are natural defining moments. If we recognize how important these natural defining moments are, we can shape them—make them more memorable and meaningful.
Milestones are milestones. 40th birthday parties. 25th-anniversary trips. 30th-year-on-the-job plaques or gold watches. The fitness-tracking bracelet Fitbit presents users with awards such as the 747 Badge, given for climbing 4,000-lifetime flights of stairs (which rises roughly to the altitude that 747s fly)
Pits are the opposite of peaks. They are negative defining moments—moments of hardship or pain or anxiety. Most of the time, this is simply common sense. Disney knows, for example, that people hate long lines. Disney invests in ways to fill that pit, by creating interesting displays as a distraction, and having performers interact with guests, and setting expectations about the wait.
Our most memorable positive moments are dominated by four elements: elevation, insight, pride, and connection. We can create these moments with our employees, customers, and loved ones to create richer experiences and loyalty.
To create an environment where everyone is inspired to give their best, contact Positioning Systems today to schedule a free exploratory meeting.
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Unlocking the Customer Value Chain author, Thales Teixeria shared how companies today are using customer-centric digital disruption to transform and innovate their businesses. Customers are decoupling from normal business patterns due to company disruptions in the normal value chain. We’ll share examples of why decoupling occurs, and what you can do to prevent and take advantage of these in your business's next blog.
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