Brief Book Review: The Power of Moments

The surprise about great service experiences is that they are mostly forgettable and occasionally remarkable.

Think back to your last holiday.

You’re most likely recalling a series moments.

You remember discovering a secret eatery that served a delicious meal, but don’t remember putting socks on that same morning. You remember sighting dolphins off shore, but don’t remember the sight of departing planes while waiting at the airport. We are master editors of our own history, and The Power of Moments shows us how to use this quirk of human psychology to create truly memorable experiences.

A moment is merely the fragments of an idea or emotion that assemble to form a clear conclusion. It’s the rush of tears when your daughter receives her degree. It’s the gut-wrenching realisation that the latest violent outburst isn’t just another bad day, but a defining character trait. It’s the sense of empowerment and self belief that comes with creating something new and realising you can do this.

Moments are the epicentre of change, but it’s the build up to the moment that gives it power.

That does not mean moments are spontaneous and uncontrollable. In fact, the book offers a number of ways to lay the foundations for life-changing moments, a valuable tool in the hands of teachers, customer service workers, project managers, anyone responsible for creating experiences.

In these jobs, focus is placed on reducing pits: areas where a customer’s experience dips below their expectations. But in doing so we neglect building peaks: instances where an experience rises above expectations. Of course, a hotel should prioritise quelling a rat infestation above everything else, but thought should also be put to surprises and delights that remain memorable well after the moment has passed, even if it doesn’t make short-term economic sense.

The popsicle hotline is a prime example. At the Magic Castle Hotel in LA, hotel residents can pick up a red poolside telephone and choose from a selection of ice-cold popsicles, which is then hand-delivered to their lounge chair. Would a well-stocked freezer make more financial sense? Yes. Would it delight visitors like a bright red telephone? Absolutely not.

Predictable experiences, while not unpleasant, are forgettable. Who reminisces about their last trip to McDonalds?

The Power of Moments asks us to create service experiences are mostly forgettable and occasionally remarkable. At Disneyland, we remember the rides not the queues.


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