I live next to Central Park in New York City. A few times each week, I make an effort to escape the concrete jungle, walk around the park, and people-watch. It's time I spend escaping my own mind, thinking of new ideas, and appreciating the beauty of the area in which I live.
It may sound a bit fluffy, but that’s how I roll.
Last week, during my temporary exodus, I encountered a young family with twins. One parent was behind the camera while the other was attempting to corral two squirmy toddlers. I walked up to them, told the camera-wielding parent to join the rest of the family, and took a few shots. While they were checking the images to make sure they were to their liking, I found out they were from Oregon, they were in the city for three days after vising an ailing family member upstate, and that it was the first time they had gone on a family trip since the twins were born.
Taking pictures for others is one way to be part of a lasting memory that those in the frame will cherish forever. They never asked for my name--I never asked for theirs--but the picture I took will be with them for years to come. I smiled, wished them a great rest of their trip, and walked away.
Without fail, every time I wander around the park there are people trying to capture a moment. Maybe it's a couple taking a selfie, a family of four where one person is taking the picture and only three are in the final product, or a solo traveler who is trying to document a journey—in every situation, these people are trying to hold on to a feeling that they’ll take with them long after they exit the park.
Every time I escape my status quo, one of my personal goals is to find these people and offer to take pictures. I want to do something that will stick with them as they continue their trip in the city and beyond—I want to help create a positive experience.
If you want your customers to keep coming back, and your employees to keep performing at a high level, you have to create these positive experiences.
What do you do for your customers that moves you away from being a mere service or merchandise provider to a business that delivers a service or product experience?
How do you create positive experiences for your employees that enable them to see their role in the larger company vision and leave a feeling of belonging that sticks with them long after work is done?
Here are some questions to ask yourself.
- What is your customer on-boarding experience?
- How do you communicate to your clients pre- and post-sale?
- Do you check for customer satisfaction, usage rates, and post-purchase needs?
- Do you thank your clients in a way that is meaningful and memorable?
- How can you provide additional utility to your customers in a way that will add value to their lives?
- What are you communicating to your employees on a daily basis that will stay etched in their minds?
- What are the little things that you do to enhance the employee’s quality of life?
- Do you ask your employees what they want, and what they need, to develop?
- Are you continually mining for feedback and creating an open channel of communication where employees feel comfortable presenting concerns?
- What are you doing on a regular basis to show employees that you care, that you support them, and that you want them to develop individually as professionals and as people?
It doesn't have to be a profound gesture to make a lasting impact. Sometimes it’s as simple as taking a picture.
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