When my wife and I stayed at a Doubletree, the experience wasn’t perfect. But as we settled into our room, I scanned a piece of material describing the brand’s “Create a Rewarding Experience (CaRE)” philosophy of service.
This philosophy struck me; recently, I have been reading up on several businesses which focus on guests’ experience rather than solely on the product or service. In fact, as the market for companies offering services continues to expand, the buzzword seems to be “experience economy”.
Of course, focusing on or even marketing an experience seems simple when you’re offering hotel stays, vacations, or even, in my case, funeral services. It would seem the philosophy is limited, then, to a niche market segment.
Consider Starbucks. Even when offering a product, experience is key to building a following or customer base to which price seems of little import when compared to how you make them feel.
Experiences that Resonate:
Not Only Exceed but Create Expectations.
Call it being spoiled or having your eyes opened; when a customer, client, or guest has an experience that resonates with her, she will measure future experiences by that standard. She believes there is no better way to experience coffee than from a friendly, energetic barista with free WiFi and a clean, inviting community. Why would anyone want to do it differently?
Meet Unspoken Needs.
Most people will only be directly involved in planning between three and five funerals in their lives. They have questions but aren’t sure what or how to ask. Because I care for 65-80 families in a given year, I know what they need to know. When I’m ready to answer the questions families don’t know they need to ask, when I provide for an unspoken need, it instills confidence and brings comfort that resonates with my client-families.
Stick With Them
Recently, a fellow Funeral Director received a Christmas card from a family he served over two years ago. “Resonate” is more than just a word; an experience should touch someone deeply. As I mentioned, Starbucks has a reputation for creating experiences that stick. Imagine a stressed student fretting over finals. In her haste, the student drops her latté on her way out. Ugh! But when a caring barista rushes out to help and replace her beverage, an experience has resonated– and will stick– with a guest.
Come From the Heart
Those who create experiences that resonate are deeply invested. Whether it’s at a hotel, coffee shop, or funeral home, these people are dedicated to producing the perfect experience. An insincere effort- or a push by management to drive revenue by increasing “perceived” value- may succeed in merely satisfying guests, but will never produce that WOW experience.
Whether you’re a leader in your business, church, community, or peer group, you’ve got to find a way to resonate with your audience. When you do, your relationships will flourish. The rest can’t help but follow.
In the comments: How do you create experiences that resonate? Has an experience ever resonated with you? How did you respond; what did you do with it?