It has been ten years. That is what the celebration is all about.
Ten years ago Jim Gilmore and Joe Pine wrote the book, the Experience Economy. If you have not read it . . . you probably ought to consider it. More about that in a moment.
I met Jim for the first time when he was a consultant to our company in Texas. I had no idea that he would, in the future, co-author a book that would change my life and the way that many Fortune 500 companies did business. I have to say that my first book (the second one is with an “editor” as I write) was in part inspired by Jim’s book.
So, a few weeks ago I got an invite to an event to celebrate the 10 anniversary of Jim’s book. At the core of his doctrine is the concept that people want experiences. That Customer Service is something you get when someone messes up. But an experience – be it Disney, or a wedding, a life changing event is what will be the required of all businesses as time goes by.
I thought. This I have got to see. Who wouldn’t want to see what a party is like that is thrown by the guy who wrote the book.
So I went on the 28th, just like the invite said. You know what I found? Nothing!!!!!!
I went to the Ritz Carlton (I mean if you are going to have a party you might as well conduct it in the most experiential locations available) and asked for directions. They didn’t know. Magically a second Ritz employee showed up to help. Still no one knew where the event was happening. Within less than two minutes there were 9 . . .NINE (did I say nine already?) Ritz Carlton employees were trying to help me find the event.
That was when I pulled out my Blackberry and realized I was one month early.
As I was riding down the elevator I though, “wait a minute. I am missing the point. Ritz Carlton, known for their customer service, had made spectacular service AN EVENT, AN EXPERIENCE. I mean, who has employees that are drawn to their customers problems like moths to a flame? It was like these 9 people heard the pied piper call of someone in distress and vulture’d in on the hapless soul.
I had to take the elevator back up to steal a Ritz Carlton bag. Actually I just asked for it and they gave me one. But stealing sounds so much more risky . . . no? “Bond. . . Jame Bond . . .may I have a shopping bag.” (I can see Renee just rolling her eyes right now. . .can’t you?) I need to show something when I talk about it in upcoming presentations. (Note: even their bags are over the top. A gorgeous thing with gold braided rope handles)
So here is the question.
Is your business providing Customer Experiences that make your customers come back and ask for souvenir’s?
That is one of the hallmarks of a great business. People want to keep the memory alive by getting a keepsake. I know when I have given a great presentation, or facilitated a super workshop because people ask for books, DVDs, to be put on the mailing list.
This is the most fulfilling thing I get to do with clients is to help them orchestrate EXPERIENCES.
What is YOUR souvenir? Hmmmm.
Mickey Mouse was pretty smart with all those mouse ears on stuff. It wouldn’t sell if they didn’t do such a great job creating memorable experiences that people want to do again, and again, and again, and . . . . .