By: Gordon Conner
Last winter a friend of mine told me a story about an incredible “WOW” experience she had on a business trip to New England. Seems that she woke up one morning and surprisingly noticed that a few inches of snow had fallen during the night. As she was checking out later that morning, Brit was surprised to learn that the hotel staff had gone out early that morning and cleared the snow from every car on the lot. Now, is that a WOW, or what? As she was checking out, she thanked the hotel staff and was told it was the assistant manager’s idea. Her response was, “Promote that assistant manager!”
Ya’ think maybe that act of kindness built a little goodwill and brand awareness? As soon as Brit returned home, she told me about it. Then she told her husband. Then she told every client she had that day and for several days after that. So that simple act of kindness resulted in Brit telling a whole handful of people about it. And you can bet that Brit will be staying there again when her business takes her to that area again. There’s a good chance the people that Brit told about her experience will tell others and they will mention it to someone who will have business or pleasure in that area. And Brit was one of perhaps hundreds of other guests that night. Not realizing it, that assistant manager created the most powerful marketing tool there is, a “Memorable Moment”.
A Memorable Moment is created when a customer experiences something that makes a positive impression and will not be forgotten for a long time. That moment will be an occasion that will always be associated with the business and cause customers to like you. These moments are very special and could include moments like earning a diploma, a first kiss, birth of children or an “I Do.” Memorable Moments associated with a person may not be quite as life changing, but they are rare and that’s what makes them so powerful. And that’s the kind of culture that can turn your company into a Category of One company.
I have a few business-related Memorable Moments myself. For example, on my first date with my wife, she took me to a Build-A-Bear store and I thought it was such a unique concept. Of course, they have subsequently done very well. I remember walking into a clothing store in San Francisco on a scorching hot day and was offered my choice of a soft drink or a bottle of water. And, of course, all other stores had posted “No food or drink” signs everywhere. And, many years ago my wife and I were strolling through Greenwich Village and stopped to have dinner at a small intimate restaurant. The restaurant had a two-person group that started playing shortly before we were finishing with dinner. We went on to experience an unbelievable night of truly unique music from these two guys. The group was called ‘Attila the Hun’, so you imagine the kind of music they played. The group was selling their album at the door, so we bought one as we were leaving because we enjoyed them so much. Years later, in reading the credits on the album cover, we noticed the organ player’s name was Billy Joel. This was, obviously, well before he became famous. We had no idea. This restaurant cared about its customers enough to provide excellent music for the customers to enjoy while they had dinner. And by doing so, the experience became a Memorable Moment we will never forget.
These are truths about Memorable Moments:
- Most Memorable Moments are the result of one person’s doing. That hotel that Brit stayed in probably had a bowed shower curtain, large showerhead, upgraded bed, and all the other amenities you would expect from good hotels. But these are just things. In Brit’s case, it was the assistant manager’s actions that made for a Memorable Moment.
- Memorable Moments are typically the result of culture and the focus on the customer. You don’t often experience Memorable Moments with companies that are internally and product focused.
- Memorable Moments are created; they don’t just happen. They are created by people who care, sometimes planned, but usually spontaneous.
- The Memorable Moment typically happens when an employee recognizes an opportunity to create it. The companies who focus on Memorable Moments are the ones that become customer advocates and see the results on the bottom line.
So, how do you create a Memorable Moment? Simply continue to ask yourself, “How can I WOW this person?” What cool, special action will it take to make the customer say WOW? These moments aren’t hard to create. The hard part is making it an integral part of how you do business and a regular part of your culture.
Regardless of what’s happening locally or nationally in the economy, Memorable Moments will boost sales today and well into the future.
So, how will you create Memorable Moments for your customer today and every day going forward?
About the Author
Gordon Conner is a Branding Consultant/Coach and Copywriter who helps build killer brands for small local businesses. He has been providing advertising, marketing, branding and copywriting services for 39 years and lives in Midlothian, Virginia. He can be reached at Gordon@BranWorks.com, or www.BranWorks.com