Looking back at a photo I posted to Facebook reminds me of a new area of research in the area of customer service. Your customers don’t recall every aspect of an experience–they remember moments instead.
On a trip to The Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island, I bumped into the hotel’s general manager. I casually mentioned that I was there to speak at an event and how impressed I was with the hotel’s service staff. He thanked me, asked my name, and ducked into a meeting.
Two hours later, I went back to my room. On the desk I found a bag and a handwritten note. Inside the bag, the GM had given me a gift of a package of rare salts sold in the hotel restaurant. The photo below is the picture I posted to Facebook and Instagram.
According to Dan and Chip Heath in their book, The Power of Moments, “Research has found that in recalling an experience, we ignore most of what happened and focus instead on a few particular moments.” What are you doing to create wow moments for you guests or customers?
A popular local restaurant in my community sits in the middle of a winery and a stunning golf course. The Wente Vineyards winery has long reputation in the Livermore Valley, having started in 1883. Wente introduced chardonnay to the region and is associated with the California style of chardonnay that’s popular around the world.
The restaurant at Wente Vineyards is elegant and Chef Mike Ward excels at courses that make the most of Wente’s local garden, wines, and even its own cattle ranch. But the staff (called ‘Ambassadors’) also excel at creating moments.
Recently, when Chef Mike heard that it was my wife’s birthday, he walked out of the kitchen with a large, exotic black truffle that he sources from Italy. He made a show of shaving the truffle onto her risotto entree. The dinner included fabulous wines and great food, but what do you think Vanessa chose to Facebook? The moment.
Earlier in the week, a group of parents from a local school visited the same Wente restaurant. I know some of the parents and follow them on Facebook. I wasn’t at the dinner, so I don’t know what they ordered or anything else about their experience–but I saw a moment that stuck with them. The restaurant staff had a prepared a menu with a customized greeting. Again, a small gesture, but a great moment one of the parents chose to post on Facebook.
Yes, they say make each moment count. But when it comes to customer service, some moments are remembered more than others.
Carmine Gallo is a keynote speaker and bestselling author. His new book, Five Stars, shows readers how to master the ancient of communication to thrive in the age of ideas (On Sale June, 2018, St. Martin’s Press)