Do your employees come to work each day seeking ways to create magical moments for your customers? Do you train them on how to do this? Do you empower them to deliver the unexpected? Would you have more promoters if you did? Would you be growing faster because you make your experiences extraordinary?
My friend's daughter, Haley, worked at Disney as a summer intern a few years ago. She shared her experience as a crew member in the Magic Kingdom. They urged, and expected, their crew to find opportunities to shine. To create those memorable moments. To go the extra mile to create a remarkable experience.
For Haley, one of her opportunities arose in an unexpected way. As a restaurant hostess, Haley was chatting with the mother of a several small children as they waited for an empty table. The mother held a broken flip-flop and mentioned that she needed to buy a new pair.
Immediately, Haley saw the opportunity to create the magical moment. After escorting the family to their table, Haley asked her manager if she could go into the gift shop and buy a new pair of Minny Mouse flip flops for the young girl. The manager, of course, agreed and off she went.
When she returned from the nearby gift shop, she approached the table with the new flip flops behind her back, lowered herself to eye-level with the young girl, and smiled. Haley said, "Mickey Mouse has a surprise for you." The little girl's eyes widened at the sight of the pink flip flops. The mother's face beamed. Haley was glowing.
I'm pretty sure that Haley's actions left a powerful impression on the girl, her parents, and anyone near the table. The parents likely spent more money, returned to the park, and told others about their experience. Raving fans for life, and likely generations. The wholesale cost of the flip flop was likely less than a dollar.
Haley's actions also left an impression on Haley. She continued to find ways to deliver incredible memories and encouraged her crew mates to do the same. Delighting others is addictive.
At Disney, these moments happen thousands of times each day. It's moments like these that allow them to continue to charge a premium and remain successful for decades.
You don't have to be in the amusement park business to deliver these kinds of extraordinary moments. Legendary stories exist in all kinds of businesses - banks, hotels, hospitals, department stores, and on airlines. They can happen anywhere humans interact, but only if the organization expects and enables it. Leaders need to want to differiate in this way. They need to role model the behavior. They need to reward and recognize the behavior. They need to ensure it is built into core business processes.
How much better off would your organization be if everyone was eagerly looking for and passionately delivering magical moments every day? What are you waiting for?