A few years ago, I attended a Customer Relationship Management conference in New York. Over the course of three days, there were dozens of speakers ranging from a Keynote by Malcom Gladwell, to other thought leaders of varying noteriety.
During one session at the conference, I remember Lior Arussy of the Strativity Group saying “Customer Service is about creating memories.” The quote made a lot of sense when I first heard it, and it has made a lot more sense many times since.
Great customer service triggers our emotions, and causes us to remember what was said or done, to make us feel a certain way. We don’t easily forget it. And we re-live those feelings by sharing those memories with friends, family, business associates, and virtually anyone who’ll listen. But if customer service is about creating memories, and positive memories bolster the Brand, any positive memory can help to build a brand, and generate the kinds of emotions that create customer loyalty.
But here’s the great thing about memories – they can be created anywhere, with or without human intervention, through simple creativity. Memories can be made to happen at any customer touch point; memories can be created in the most subtle ways in the most mundane places. I realized this on an AirTran flight from Atlanta to Portland, Maine a few months after that CRM conference.
Some 30,000 feet over New Jersey, I noticed something written on the pretzel bag – “Instructions” for eating the pretzels:
1. Think about our wonderful low fares at airtran.com as you open packet.
2. Place a pretzel in mouth. With each crunch, be reminded of our low fares.
3. As you swallow, remember again just how low the fares are.
4. Repeat until pretzel packet is empty.
5. Keep empty packet to remind yourself to book at airtran.com, where you’ll always find our lowest fares.”
Have you ever found yourself smiling at an empty pretzel bag? If an when you do, it’s not something that you’ll easily forget. To this day, that bag continues to rest between the pages of the book that I finished on that flight.
Memories can be created in small and subtle ways, in the most mundane places. And all those memories add up to the customer experience, and the brand you create.
How well do you take advantage of the silent touch points in your business?