“The best things in live are not things, they are moments.”
Why does it sometimes feel like we spend most of our professional lives fixing problems rather than enhancing and improving? Well, according to Chip and Dan Heath it feels that way because that’s what we do! In a study of multiple companies across the nation, the Heath brothers found that companies spend 20% of their time trying to enhance customer experiences and 80% of their time trying to fix problems.
You might ask, “What’s wrong with that? Won’t fixing problems help those companies make customers happy?” In reality, customers who go from being unsatisfied to neutral are worth about $1 of revenue and customers who go from neutral to very satisfied are worth about $9 of revenue. The Heath brothers argue that it is the “peak moments” that people remember and that those moments are what are going to get people coming back over and over again to the same company and experience. How can you create peak moments? That’s the focus of their new book, The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact.
Chip and Dan Heath found that there are four elements to creating peak moments, or moments that matter. These are elements that can build peaks in our companies and also with our loved ones.
Elevation. Elevation is an intense sensory experience such as viewing an incredible sunset, listening and watching fireworks, riding a rollercoaster, and eating an absolutely delicious dish.
How can you build elevation into a customer experience? The authors give the example of Google Maps. As computer programmers, they are always looking to be more efficient. The problem is they wanted to be loved. When the Heaths told them about elevation, they worked to incorporate that into the Google Maps experience. They included an “urgent coffee button” to immediately direct the use to the closest location for coffee. The button also included service times and the app began to form partnerships with people so that the coffee could be ready when people walked through the door. By incorporating a positive sensory experience into Google Maps, the company hoped to continue to grow its usership.
Pride. This element comes into the experience when there is a sense that courage and recognition drove a belief in the significance of the moment. In other words, this moment was one that was thought about and chosen. This is a moment of us at our very best, one we can feel proud of when we look back at it.
How can you build pride into a customer experience? When you demonstrate through attention to detail and drive that this moment is one that is significant, you will make your customers (and loved ones) that much more willing to spend the time with you again.
Insight. Any time that you change something, it helps if the people around you understand that there are realizations, positive or negative, that created the motivation and desire to leap forward and progress.
How can you build insight into the customer experience? It’s easy to build insight into the customer experience by sharing what led you to make changes in your systems. For instance, if you are a baker and you notice that people are looking for more gluten-free options, you let them know, “You asked. We answered. Now a whole gluten-free section.” This lets people know that there was intention and insight in the decision to expand the gluten-free section.
Connection. Connection is perhaps the most important part of the peak moment and it is the trust that you have in other people, the warmth and intimacy you feel with friends, family, and colleagues.
How can you build connection into the customer experience? The Heath brothers were working with Westpac, the third largest bank in Australia, and the bank employees explained that when the spouse who deals with the finances passes away, this can create a lot of stress for the surviving spouse. The employees also mentioned that when people come into the bank, they often do not have the right information with them. Instead, the Heath brothers suggested going to people’s homes after their spouses pass away and helping them get their finances in order. That, they argued would be a powerful moment for connection. And, the impact on the employees could even be stronger than on the customers, thereby providing greater customer and employee satisfaction. The Heath brothers explain that Google Maps incorporated connection through allowing a family member to record the different phrases for directions, so that someone can get their young daughter to record the phrases and the voice recording might say, “Right turn, Daddy.” Who wouldn’t want to use a navigation device that spoke to us in our loved one’s voices?
Ultimately, the Heath brothers research indicates that we can build peak moments. Those peak moments are the ones that count for our future investment in that company or that relationship. So, go build those moments – weave together some elevation, pride, insight, and connection – and it will really matter!