You’re not in the business of selling a product or service. You’re in the business of creating stories. The stories of customers who do business with you. Stories they can take with them and remember the next time your name is mentioned.
Long after the purchase is over and the reason they decided to buy your product, use your service or shop your establishment is long forgotten, one thing won’t be forgotten: the story. How did they feel when they did business with you? Was it an experience that stood out for them? Was there something there that made them feel special? That made them feel like you got them?
The thing is, stories happen whether you intend them to or not (we can all recall disappointing stories, right?). So why not think ahead and see if there’s something you can do to create a story that is not only unique, but will have the customer talking about it in her circle for days, months or years afterward.
Here’s an example of helping to create a memorable story:
It is a video of a flight attendant named David who works for Southwest Airlines. He was able to take that boiler-plate boarding announcement we all try to ignore on every flight, and turn it into an opportunity for engagement with the airline, and a story that will be remembered by passengers and passed on to others.
If you want confirmation that this created a memorable story, just check how often this video was viewed on YouTube. Or, simply just check out the burned out businessmen in the front rows joyfully participating in the rhythm section.
Southwest didn’t script David. Nor did they tell him he had to do this. But here’s what the airline’s execs did do: they understood that their real business wasn’t the airline business. It was the hospitality business. They might not be able to control departure and landing times, weather delays, FAA requirements and the surly TSA folks who make you take off your shoes and dump out your shampoo. About the only control the airline does have is what it does to engage passengers while they’re held captive in a metal tube 35,000 feet in the air. As such, they hire the most outgoing, entertaining, people-loving folks they can find, teach them a little about running an airliner, then set them loose to surprise and delight.
And create stories.
Posted by Mickey