The Magic Castle in Beverly Hills, CA is a haven for magicians. You can get in the castle only by invitation from a member, typically a magician. You arrive and enter a door into the library after you have uttered the secret password. There is dinner followed by magic shows in one of three theatres. My favorite is the close-up theatre that seats only about twenty people. I have been twice, seen the same shows twice, and had the same meal…twice. And, even if I know how the trick is done, I am still enchanted by the presentation and performance.
Customers enjoy magical moments. The surprise of a value-unique experience creates a powerful memory and a story ready to share. But, it is not the “trick” that makes it all work; it is the process of enveloping the customer in the charm of the experience.
I arrived very late at the Ink48, a boutique hotel in midtown New York City. As a road warrior, I know that late arrival at popular hotels often means a different room than the one reserved. Handicapped rooms, upgrades, and suites often come into play as the hotel works to accommodate a late arriving guest with a reservation. This evening was no different…but, front desk clerk, Stephen, made it a magical moment.
“Dr. Bell,” he exclaimed as I handed him my credit card and driver’s license, “We have been waiting for you. I have a wonderful surprise! You will be our VIP this evening. We have upgraded you to an elegant room you will love!” The room was as promised. But, the memory that lingers in my mind was not the outcome; it was the magical moment when Stephen turned an overbooked situation into a delightful surprise. If Cirque du Soleil ran your customer experience, how would it change? Look for innovative ways to turn mundane into magical.
Photo Credit: Flickr via Derek Key