How often can you say that you experienced something exceptional? Something that amazed you and made you want to experience the same again. Perhaps planted a seed for loyalty.
How often do you even think of having experiences – good, great, mediocre, bad, lousy… Anything around mediocre – perhaps you didn’t even pay attention. It is the extremes that alert us and make us spread the word. And for sure, we talk more often about lousy experiences than about great ones. That’s our human nature.
What makes an experience exceptional – in the positive meaning. The first thing that comes to my mind is surprise. An amazing experience has an element of something that you didn’t expect. It goes beyond the things that make you just say ‘I like this, I can trust this, this is good for my needs’. The second thing that comes to my mind is emotion. I may remember having had an exceptional experience – and not being able to describe concrete things about it. But I still remember the emotional level – feelings like joy, excitement, appreciation.
Let me tell you about an experience in Rome last autumn. A friend had advised us a small local restaurant that she had liked very much. So we went looking for this place and finally found it in the corner of a tiny hidden piazza (nobody would find it without knowing it is there…). And we went in, got seated and were served with an excellent meal including several greetings from the kitchen and tastiers of local specialties. What I however remember more than the meal – even though it was excellent – is the way we were treated by the staff. Firstly, feeling like a guest – and not just like any guest, but like an appreciated guest, for whom the personnel wanted to show the best they could offer. The other thing on top of my mind is the pride the owners of the place took in the local products, which they generously presented.
Definitely, the feeling of appreciation is an important component of an exceptional experience. And seeing your business counterpart being proud of what s/he is doing or offering creates trust in the quality of the products or services offered.