A friend came back from a three-week vacation on the Maldives. Lucky guy!
"How was your vacation?" I asked.
"Great," he said. The place was just marvelous and the diving experience was phenomenal. However, the flight on the way back was horrendous. It ruined my whole vacation."
"Really?" I raised my eyebrow. "How could a nine-hour flight ruin three weeks of great vacation?"
My friend had chosen a selected piece of memory to drive how he felt about his entire experience.
To understand why, let’s look at the differences between the Experiencing self and the Remembering self, as outlined by Daniel Kahneman, Nobel laureate and founder of behavioral economics.
The Experiencing self and Remembering self
The Experiencing self focuses on the present, which consists of a chain of moments. As Daniel Kahneman says,
"the psychological presence is set to three seconds long... so most of the experiences we have leave no trace and are completely ignored by the Remembering self. For the Remembering self, those chains of moments are lost forever, but what stays are the memories. And memories are defined by:
And endings are very important."
Why does this matter to Customer Experience? Because the Remembering self is the story-teller. It tells us what to keep from our experiences to create a story. That means if you have a business, you'd better address the Remembering self of your customers. Because you want to positively influence the story they will tell about you—on Facebook, Twitter, and to their friends. This matters because it will either create business value for your brand, or negatively impact it.
The Customer Experience
The customer experience is the combination of all interactions a customer has with your brand, from searching products on your website to calling a customer service agent to visiting a branch.
A customer might have a positive interaction visiting your website and chatting with an agent, but an error at checkout might cause the customer to report that "the whole experience was ruined". You might say, "Wait a second, the customer had a lot of positive experiences, only the last interaction was bad. It’s not a big deal." It is a BIG DEAL. It’s what the customer remembers—and endings matter!
That's why a consistent, positive cross-channel customer experience is one of the only sustainable advantages you have. A single bad experience can cause you to lose a customer, and all the potential customers they tell.
Experiences happen anytime, anywhere. Make sure the experiences you give customers are personalized, positive and consistent across channels.
Be there in the moments that matter most to delivering on your brand promise, and your customers will reward you with loyalty and advocacy.
Pamper your customer's Remembering self—surprise them, wow them! Last week, I received an email from Airbnb with proposed greetings cards for me to send to my hosts—all I had to do was select the design and hit send. Was I surprised? Yes! Was I wowed? Yes! Did I remember it? Yes! Did I tell my friends? Yes! My positive experience and willingness to share it with others created business value for Airbnb.
Design the story you want your customers to tell. Do that by mapping your customer’s journey with your brand, identifying all the interaction points that could leave a "memory" their Remembering self will say to themselves and others.
Start mapping your customer’s journey today by signing up for a complimentary journey mapping workshop near you.
Upcoming Journey Mapping Workshops in Asia-Pacific: