Recently, I was reading a magazine about the best businesses in my area and it got me thinking about, “the how of REMARKABLE.”
As I read more and more I started noticing two things about each business:
- They didn’t make every experience with their product or service REMARKABLE.
- They strategically identified which products or services to make REMARKABLE, and then had a process—or a “technology”—for creating that outcome.
I want to call these two noticeable things guidelines for “the how of REMARKABLE.” And it involves asking five specific questions:
- What is the product or service experience I want to create or transform into a REMARKABLE?
- How will the customer feel as a result of this product or service experience? (What is the actual outcome you want to create?)
- What specific expectations does the average customer bring to this product or service experience?
- What does failing to meet customers’ expectations for this product or service experience look like?
- What does exceeding customers’ expectations for this product or service experience look like?
These questions can be used on your own or in a group setting to create a REMARKABLE conversation.
For an example, let’s use from this magazine “Lexus of Richmond”. They have realized that their product is more than the vehicle. It is the total customer experience and it begins from the moment their customers come back and utilize their service center. They have determine that this is what they want to transform into REMARKABLE experience. Here’s how they apply the questions:
- What is the experience I want to create or transform into a REMARKABLE? The customer’s service center experience.
- How will the customer feel as a result of this experience? ( What is the actual outcome we want to create?) They feel that we must be an extraordinary company because they have never had a service center experience like this. They assume that we are somehow really different, and they can’t wait to experience more.
- What specific expectations does the typical customer bring to this experience?
- They expect the service center to be clean and organized.
- They expect the service rep. to be friendly and professional.
- They expect to be asked to sign-in their vehicle, and hand over their keys.
- They expect to be seated while they wait.
- They expect to wait 1-2 hours before getting their vehicle back in the same condition they handed it over in.
- They expect a few, probably slightly out-of-date magazines to thumb through.
- What does failing to meet customers’ expectations for this experience look like?
- The service center is dirty, messy, or dimly lit.
- The service rep. is distracted, cold, or rude.
- The mechanic leaves oil residue in the vehicle.
- There is nowhere to sit or all the seats are occupied. They must stand.
- They have to wait for more than 1-2 hours.
- There is either nothing to read or the magazines are badly worn and outdated.
- What does exceeding customers’ expectations for this experience look like? (This is according to the Lexus of Richmond magazine article.)
- The customer gets a free loaner vehicle instead of waiting the entire time
- The customer receives free coffee and pastries
- The customer has at their use the dealership’s iPad while they wait
- The lobby is clean, neat, well-lit, and beautiful.
- The lobby is decorated with interesting awards from the company’s history with little cards explaining the significance of each one.
- The receptionist always refers to visitors as “guests.”
I think this clearly illustrates how you can transform any product or service experience into a REMARKABLE experience. This process can really be applied to anything—a vacation, a date, a company meeting, or, yes, even in the creation of intellectual property.
Note: REMARKABLE by definition means something worth making a remark about.