Creating memorable experiences!

Posted by Osman on Aug 25, 2020 in Arts Marketing, B2B Marketing, Blog, Customer Experience Management, E-Commerce, Loyalty | 143 comments

First, apologies to those who posted comments, and they’ve only just come up on the blog.  There were quiet a few spam comments, which I had to go through before I found the real ones.  To make things faster, you can register and then post.  Second, the visitors have crossed 2100, with over 20,000 hits.  I now have visitors from all continents, and 50 different countries.  The top visitors continue to be from the UK, USA, The Netherlands, Canada, and the rest of Europe.  Although visitors from the Middle East are catching up.  Will post the full list later in the week.

Memorable experiences, what are they?

Last week I discussed emotional loyalty.  This topic generated much discussion.  Several Linked in groups had this as the number one topic of discussion.  One of the key factors in developing this was memorable experiences.  I thought it would be good to talk about this topic, as it came up numerous times in various discussions.

So what are memorable experiences?  A memorable experience is something which is out of the ordinary.  Something special, or unexpected.  Often we can link this to delight or a pleasant surprise.  When we talked to customers who appeared to be almost identical on paper, one main factor that distinguished the category of loyalty they belonged to was the fact that most emotionally attached customers felt that they had had memorable experiences with the firm, where as those who were only attitudinally loyal had none!

How to create memorable experiences

So what did the organizations do to create these memorable experiences?  Sometimes you don’t have to do much.  One customer was very happy when her flight was upgraded because she was flying on her birthday.  Another said that the hotel left flowers, and a bottle of champagne for the couple on their anniversary.  Amazon used to give out vouchers to people who purchased from them!  Most of the cases of memorable experiences or delight resulted from small acts such as these.  The interesting thing is that these customers remember them, even if this took place years ago.  Moreover, after having such an experience, their perception of service changed.  Most thought perceived the ‘normal’ level of service as very good.  Hence, one act changed the way how the customer looks at the company’s brand, and its services from a totally different perspective.

There were other ways of creating memorable experiences.  One of the most important of these is great service recovery.  Often those customers that were not emotionally attached had things like this to say, ‘we complained, but nothing happened’ or ‘yeah they did give us compensation but it wasn’t worth it.’  Usually the compensation was too little, too late, or did not exist at all.  On the other hand, the emotionally attached had received great service recovery, which was much more than what the customer expected.  For instance, one customer’s food was not done right.  The restaurant apologized right away, replacing the meal with the right one, gave the person a huge discount and then told him that the next time he would get 50% off his bill!  It is acts such as these which result in the memorable experience for the customer.  Some of the main factors are to acknowledge the mistake as quickly as possible, apologize to the customer, and then compensate the customer for the bad product / service, making sure that the level of compensation is more than the loss.

Another interesting method of creating delight or memorable experiences is by delivering a consistently good quality of product or service.  For instance, many Sony customers felt delight with the products, simply because the products always were up to the level of quality that was expected of them.  In this case, the company was not offering a surprise, or something extra, just delivering on the quality they promised.  Overtime, the customers start to feel good about the product or the service, and this results in an overall memorable experience.

All of this does not mean that after one memorable experience, you can disappoint the customer.  The high level of quality needs to continue to the emotional attachment bond to get stronger.  There are many aspects to this discussion, such as employee empowerment, corporate culture, etc.  Unfortunatley I don’t have time to discuss these right now.  However, I would like to find out what you think of delight or memorable experiences, as well as service recovery.  Have you had such experiences.  Or what does your organization do to create these.  If you don’t then why aren’t you?

Pakistan Floods

Last week I posted a small note on the flooding in the country.  Its good to see that a number of people clicked on those links.  Just a reminder, now the area covered is the size of Italy, or the United Kingdom!  Over 20 million are now affected.

Awards in customer experience

I will be the chair of Judges on the UK Customer Experience Awards 2010 (  The nominations for this year are closed, but you can come and attend the event.  Click on the link to get more info.  I am also on the Chair of Judges for the UK Theme Park and Visitor Attraction Awards 2011 (  The nominations for this particular one are still open, with only 35 days left.

143 Responses to “Creating memorable experiences!”

  1. I just stopped by your blog and thought I would say hello. I like your site design. Looking forward to reading more down the road.

  2. Richard Randolph says:

    You raise some interesting points on the importance of creating a “memorable” experience. As it has been said by others, “In the end, all you have are your memories…”

    I would encourage you and your faithful readers to modify your statement, though. While it is implied in your writing, you do not explicitly classify them as “positive” memorable experiences. It is entirely possible – it happens all the time! – that a Customer could have a NEGATIVE memorable experience.

    And the research (originally from TARP in the 1990s) indicates that an unhappy Customer (i.e., a negative memorable experience) will tell many more others (or create a blog or website…) than someone who has a favorable memorable experience.

    So it seems to me that the first rule of “memorable experience” is “do no harm” – to respond immediately and overwhelmingly to Customer complaints, and to review your Customer Journey (Moments of Truth) to eradicate and potential “moments of misery.” It’s a task that will pay handsome rewards.


  3. mark gibson says:

    I agree with your summary and believe memorable customer experiences often occur when initially something is not quite to the level of service expected and the way the individual recovers the situation by owning the interaction with the customer and compensating through relatively small acts of kindness

  4. Lisa Smith says:

    Excellent. Very good piece of work. Keep it up!

  5. Amy McDonald says:

    Very interesting. can’t wait to read your next.

  6. I agree with Richard in that a memorable experience can also be an inherently negative one. One very bad experience can potentially unravel customer loyalty that has previously been built carefully over time.

    The barometer that gauges the memorable experience is how the customer “feels” at that moment of truth. When the customer:
    - Hangs up the phone after calling a contact center
    - Walks away from the check-out counter
    - Opens their home-delivered package
    - Reads a company’s marketing piece
    - Visits a website is how the customer feels at these moments of truth that will determine if the experience is positively memorable or negatively memorable and whether the customer becomes more or less loyal to the product or service or company.

    Does the customer FEEL heard? Cared about? Valued? Understood? Was the experience human and personalized? Is the price paid fair trade for the value received?
    Or does the customer feel under-valued? Merely like a number? Like no one cares about their issue? As if the price they paid wasn’t worth the value they received?

    If companies train their employees to always consider “how the customer feels” – they will make huge strides in driving customer loyalty.

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