Over the past year, I’ve had the chance to post a wide range of thoughts on the ways that organization’s can leverage a deep understanding of their customers in order to design and engage customers in experiences that drive the growth of their business. I recently took the opportunity to step back and reflect on the most important things I’ve learned over the past 25 years. This post summarizes those most important things. I’ve tried to make this concise… but will provide links to other posts that provide more insight.
Designing Influential Experiences
Wow Experiences exert a powerful influence on how people think, feel, decide, and act… because they’re designed from the mental model of the experiencer not the mental model of the provider. Wow experiences create a high level of commitment, energy, and “word of mouth” by improving peoples’ lives.
- Wow Experiences change how people feel and are designed from a deep understanding of what people desire. People don’t buy products or services, they buy Desired States. What Emotional Outcomes should the experience generate?
- Wow Experiences deliver Innovative Solutions to people’s underlying, end-to-end problems. Finding these solutions requires getting below-the-surface of existing touch points.
- Wow Experiences generate viral stories. Prime the story people will tell around an influential Experience Storyline.
- Wow Experiences resonate with the seemingly irrational ways people decide. Design experiences that shape Preference Construction and overcome Behavioral Barriers.
- Wow Experiences are pleasantly surprising. Design a small set of highly differentiated Signature Experience Elements.
- Wow Experiences are engaging and personal. Enable people to Co-create and Personalize the experience, as well as, Influence and Collaborate with others.
- Wow Experiences recognize everything communicates! Eliminate negative cues and align positive cues to influence the story and how you make people feel.
Delivering Influential Experiences
Customers’ experiences with any organization result from the behavior of a self-reinforcing, deeply entrenched organizational system. Traditional approaches to defining and implementing a new experience fail because they underestimate limits imposed by legacy mindsets, processes, systems, and culture.
- Wow Experiences start with clear description of the intended experience – from the customers’ perspective. Align on an Experience Specification that describes the customers’ emotional & rational outcomes.
- Wow Experiences rely on Experience Value Management to focus improvements on fundamentally shifting the economics of customer relationships.
- Wow Experiences require shifting organizational behavior. Surface the Unwritten Rules that predispose the organization to deliver the current experience.
- Wow Experiences require specific employee experiences not just “engagement.” Diagnose how employee experiences reinforce Unwritten Rules and design specific Employee Experience Interventions to shift those Unwritten Rules.
- Wow Experiences require the holistic design of enabling Processes, Structures, and Management Systems.
- Wow Experiences have a limited shelf-life. Continually Refresh and Preserve a differentiated experience.
- Remember that, no matter what business you’re in… You’re in the Hospitality Business!
Here are a selection of links that provide some more insight into the points summarized above: