You have to eat dinner. You could eat something pre-made; just heat it in the microwave and eat it in front of the television. But by adding a table cloth, candles, your favorite food and a little music, what was once a requirement for survival becomes an experience. Experiences remain. Consider the quote, “People may not always remember what you said or what you did, but they will always remember how you made them feel.”
Our lives are marked by experiences – both favorable and unfavorable. That tells us two important things:
- Make experiences a priority.
- Make good experiences.
In a program I teach on customer service, I introduce something I call Impressure Points. Impressure Points is a term that brings together the concept of a Pressure Point (a place where the customer and the business intersect) and Impression (the impression made on the customer). So, business Impressure Points are the places where a business connects with a customer and has the ability to make an impression. Basically, it is an opportunity for a business to create an experience.
There are three types of Impressure points, all of which create a specific experience:
- Breaking points – the customer did not get or experience what was expected. This could be product that is not delivered on time or is damaged, a call that is not returned, a cranky or unprofessional employee or a bad link on your website. There are so many places you interact with a customer; notice any potential breaking point areas.
- Success points – the customer got exactly what they wanted, nothing more. Think of the restaurant that gets your order exactly right, but doesn’t make any additional effort in your dining experience. So even though a success point is not a breaking point, it is still not enough of an experience to earn customer loyalty. More is needed. It is a great experience that keeps a customer.
- Extra Points – the customer got what they wanted AND something more was done. Author and leadership expert Ken Blanchard calls it the +1 in his book Raving Fans. Customers who have an exceptional experience will remember it. Consider the meal that was prepared exactly right and was delivered by a personable, friendly, upbeat and good-with-details waitstaff. This creates the response that gets shared and referred. Customers come back and bring their friends.
Though I shared Impressure Points and the power of experience from a customer’s perspective, realize these can be used anywhere in life, as well. Where are your breaking, success and extra points with your employees? Where are your breaking, success and extra points in your relationship with your spouse or partner, kids, family or friends? Know them to sustain or improve them.
Life is about experiences. Notice what experiences you are creating at home and at work. Where are the areas that need more intention to amplify the experience and the outcome from it? What is one thing you can do today to raise a breaking point to a success point, and raise a success point to an extra point? Think of the type of experience you must create to activate engagement, drive results and inspire loyalty.