One of my favorite ways to “volunteer” my time is to donate blood. Maybe it’s the fact that my husband (who is an ER physician) is giving it away on a near daily basis to patients who need it & I feel like I need to refresh the supply, maybe it’s my competitive nature driving me to collect more and more “gallon donor” pins, or maybe it’s the Coke and Oreos I let myself have afterward. Either way, I love doing it, and something happened at my recent appointment that is a beautiful example of a small detail in my journey as a donor that made a huge impact in my behavior.
Here’s what happened & why you should strive to do something similar in your business.
The Littlest Details…
I recently stopped in to my local Memorial Blood Bank to donate, and my appointment went as it typically does. The digital questionnaire, the finger prick, the sterilization, the donation, etc. As I was donating, I was listening to a podcast and not really paying much attention to what my phlebotomist was doing.
When I finished my donation, she got me cleaned up (as usual), and placed the pressure bandage on my arm. Again, all very standard.
Then it happened.
She stuck an adorable flower onto my pressure bandage! While I was donating, she took a moment to make a flower out of another color of the bandage material and surprised me with it right before sending me out the door.
I was so surprised! And DELIGHTED!
This employee took a few moments to create a customer experience that cost her employer next to nothing, but the impact on my (the customer’s) behavior, was massive.
I immediately snapped a picture and posted it to Instagram, tagging Memorial Blood Bank and praising them for this surprising gesture. Before leaving, I made sure to book my next appointment for my first available opening after the required waiting period was up.
This small gesture earned Memorial Blood Bank free publicity on my social media channels and a secured next donation (loyalty) from me.
Let’s talk about why.
The Power of Moments
A number of areas of research into consumer and human behavior point to the power of timing surprise-and-delight details at very specific points in a customer’s journey.
Specifically, surprise-and-delight details that are strategically placed at the following inflection points create a sizable and favorable impact on customer behavior:
- The beginning of a customer’s journey
- The end of a customer’s journey
- At meaningful transition points in the customer’s journey
The book “The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences have Extraordinary Impact” does a great job of reviewing the relevant research into why these particular moments are so impactful.
Specifically, surprise-and-delight interventions strategically placed at the beginning of a customer’s journey kicks things off on the right foot. It sets the customer’s expectations in a favorable direction, leading them to expect good things from their interaction.
In the case of my little flower, Memorial Blood Bank surprised me at the end of my journey. This serves to wipe away the memory of any discomfort or friction I might have experienced during my donation.
Finally, surprise-and-delights at important inflection points or transition points in a customer’s journey (e.g., reaching the 50% mark of paying off a home mortgage or a client’s child’s high school graduation) serve to motivate a customer to continue on their journey, particularly if the journey is lengthy.
The beauty of strategically focusing on the timing of these surprise-and-delight moments is that the smallest of gestures have an extraordinary impact on customer behavior, sentiment, and loyalty.
Memorial Blood Bank spent a few cents on the flower they sent me home with, yet they earned free word-of-mouth advertising and a repeat donor. That’s not a bad ROI!
At Sprocket, we help our clients turn the corner to innovation in their customers’ journeys to accomplish impacts just like these. If you’re curious about how you might harness the power of these important reflection points in your customers’ journey to reap extraordinary impact, drop us a line!
Schedule a free growth consultation call to see how we might be able to help you.