Two Common Misunderstandings About The Experience Economy

The first common misunderstanding is that experiences have to be big or over the top to be memorable. This isn’t true.

The second is that in order to stage a successful experience, you have to be someone other than your true self. You have to pretend to be someone else. This couldn’t be more wrong.

For something to be an experience, it has to be memorable. Have you ever walked out of a restaurant and said, “I’m never going there again”? You had an experience, although an experience memorable for all the wrong reasons.

For you to be able to stage a series of connected, successful experiences you have to believe in it, and be generous enough to want to share it.

Your experience is your gift.

Here is a fun little exercise.

Think about the last time you checked into a hotel.

Was it an experience?

Did you find it memorable, personal, engaging and maybe even pleasantly surprising? Could you tell me all about it?

Or was it a service? Think about it. Was it only professional, prompt and courteous?

It’s easy to tell ourselves we can’t shift to experience because we don’t have enough time or money, but that doesn’t make it true.

What we need, more so than money and time, is intention.

We need to intend to engage. We need to intend to delight.

I could blow you away and I wouldn’t have to spend five dollars.

In the same week I checked into two nice hotels. The Four Seasons and a Fairmont.

The Four Seasons staged an incredible arrival experience for me. It blew me away and it cost them less than one dollar. When I walked up to the counter, after meeting the door guys who took my luggage, the front desk clerk gave my wife and me two cups of hot apple cider, served on a log coaster. A nice little touch, which I assure you was part of many nice touches over the few days we were there. They created some time well spent for us, and this easy moment they created served as a springboard for a few great days for us.

A few nights later, I checked into the Fairmont, also a very nice hotel. They were professional, personal, and courteous. Mostly though, they got me checked in in less than three minutes.

That’s a service. They saved me some time.

I can’t wait to get back to The Four Seasons at Whistler.

Funny. I can’t even remember what the person who checked me in at the Fairmont looked like.


Comments (2)

I believe that it takes a second to change the moment into a moment to remember. (positive or negative) Its the little touches that keep people coming back, whether its a business, event or season. The big WOW’s are gimmicks and the little touches are genuine.

Some signals are overt, and others are more subtle that’s for sure. For you and everyone out there in blog land, here is a little bit of tactical advice. To create those magic moments, zero in on customer sacrifice instead of satisfaction. These are not the same. Make your customer ‘better’ by eliminating any sacrifice they have to make. Eliminating pain has a greater, positive effect then increasing satisfaction. Thanks for the note.

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