Why you should create 'Moments that Matter'​ when designing your services to create unshakeable loyalty.

I recently spent a day speaking with a client embarking upon a project to re-imagine the customer experience. Now, like most organizations going through change and embarking on this type of journey, they first kept thinking of the usual things such ‘how can we improve what we do’ and ‘how can we make our product better’ and really trying to find ways to innovate within their traditional offerings.

The answer to beginning this type of process is really to understand the customer journey, and looking for opportunities to create 'Moments that Matter' within that journey. These are moments that can happen anywhere in the customer/stakeholder journey that are meant evoke positive emotion.

To illustrate, I recently was invited to speak at the University of Calgary and as usual when delivering a keynote or workshop, I prefer to make my own travel arrangements. I'm not sure if there was a full moon that evening, but on the online reservation form for the hotel I planned to stay at, I decided to get playful in the 'Other Requests' section.

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Yes, that's right. My 'Other Request' was to have a framed picture of the Golden Girls next to the bed. Look, I loved watching the GG's growing up, and still enjoy watching them today. And so, I wanted to see if my request would be fulfilled. The video below will reveal whether it was fulfilled.

They actually did it! Silly right? Not at all. I'll be honest, the hotel had a few shortcomings, but in the end it didn't matter because the fulfillment of this small request went above and beyond my expectations. It made everything else completely acceptable, and allowed me to overlook any of the shortcomings. It was a defining moment i’ll never forget. This reinforced a lesson which I often use when creating powerful change, and that is, creating change is not so much about what you want people to know, but rather what you want them to feel, and by feeling that way, what's the action you want them to take. As my mentor often says 'data makes people think, but emotions make people act!' Would I return to that hotel? Absolutely. No question.

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In everything we do, we have the ability to create powerful moments that matter. Global design and innovation company IDEO notes that there are several things to look at when it comes to creating such moments. Generally moments fall into two categories:

1. Moments where we have direct interactions with others and

2. Moments where we don't have direct interactions with others.

And with these two types of moments, they can often fall within 3 areas:

1. Moments critical to the operation, execution, or delivery of what we do

2. Moments that provide the opportunity for something different and unique

3. Moments with the potential to create real-value for the customer/client/person

Think of your existing business or service(s), and the various points along the customer journey and ask yourself what certain moments feel like to your customers/clients/stakeholders, and what could you change to make them a 'moment that matters'. Consider the moments before, during, and after their interactions with you. What needs are being served in those moments and what does it feel like for your customers or clients?

Just a few years earlier, I remember checking-in to the Westin Hotel in Ottawa Canada ahead of a keynote I was to deliver the next day. I remember being asked by the front desk agent what 'view' I would prefer. I jokingly replied 'a view of Sleeping Beauty castle at Disneyland' to which I received an awkward uncomfortable laugh from the desk agent. Nonetheless, I got my room key, and proceeded to drop off my bags and then head-out for dinner.


When I returned an hour later or so, I proceeded to my room, unlocked the hotel room door, turned on the lights, and discovered my view was now that of Sleeping Beauty castle from Disneyland.

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The front desk staff had waited for me to leave the hotel, they then found a photo online of the castle, and then downloaded an app to be able to print it out on multiple sheets. They got it printed in colour, and then proceeded to assemble it on the floor in the main lobby. Following that, they went to my room to hang it on the window while someone kept a look-out. From that day forward, it is the only hotel I'll stay at whenever I'm in Ottawa.

Both were examples of moments where I didn't have direct interactions with others but provided a unique opportunity for something different/unique. Now whenever I'm asked about the two hotels in this article, I don't talk about the beds nor about the decor. Instead I share a very powerful story. Stories are one of the most powerful ways we communicate with others. These events impacted my feelings about my relationship with this brand of hotel and as a result I'm now a powerful marketing pitch for them. All resulting from a powerful 'moment that matters'.

If you're wondering where to start, the first thing you can do is talk to the people who use your service and those who deliver it for you. You'll find that they are rarely asked and yet they have so much knowledge to share. In the workshops I design and deliver for clients, which are powerful ways to understand the 'journey', it's always an 'AHA' moment when leaders hear the innovative and unique viable ideas their people have which can transform their businesses.

Your challenge: Think of something that happens routinely in your personal or professional life. Think of what happens in the lead-up to it, while it occurs, and then after it occurs. Ask yourself where you can create, or modify a moment to make it a more positive impactful experience for someone experiencing it.

rob oddi