Blog 146: Creating Anticipation



A great example of innovation on the ENTICING stage.



Hey everybody, today I’m going to talk about creating anticipation and curiosity within your clients by paying closer attention to the “enticing” stage of experience design.


Before we get too into it, I have a question for you: When you are setting up a meeting with a prospective client or an existing client, how do you build curiosity in the client’s mind about you? Not your products or services, but about you specifically and the change you plan to create?


I guess another question, although somewhat loaded, is: Do you want them to feel prepared to meet you, or eager to meet you? Do you want them to feel confident about what you will talk about, or fascinated by a future discussion with you, based on what they have seen so far?


Let’s go for the hat trick and ask yet another even more loaded question. Do you want them to come in assured that you know what everyone else knows, or intrigued by what you have figured out?


Experience Economy nerds, of which I am one and my nerdery is even certified, refer to this first critical stage of experience design as the ENTICING STAGE.


(Just so you know, I’ll be hosting a free webinar on this topic – The Enticing Stage – this March 30th at 3PM EST. You are welcome to attend and the link to sign up is posted in the comments of the blog.)


Today’s blog was inspired by an article that has recently been making the viral rounds about a food delivery service worker who goes by the handle of JayTheDasher. This handle works well since Jay works for DoorDasher, an online food ordering company.


The DoorDash app allows customers to track when their food will be delivered.


It’s not much different than an Uber ride-sharing app or auto assistance app. These companies know that their clients want to know and track when their food or ride or car boost is going to arrive, which is a wonderful example of decreasing customer sacrifice.


Jay has figured out that if he texts a fun customized message of some kind, it boosts the tips he gets when he arrives at the door.


He might send a picture of a cat behind a steering wheel or a woman running through a parking lot with the words “I’m on my way with your order!” overlaid on it. Whatever the message, these memes grab the customer’s attention and make them smile, and it piques their curiosity about Jay.


Jay has figured out that this first stage or phase in the customer experience – anticipation – can be memorable and pays out, instantly, in cash.


Of course, Jay knows his audience. He knows they ordered by phone and so they can receive his message in kind.


But what about your audience? What similar anticipatory messages might you send out that lets them know you’re looking forward to seeing them? How can you Decrease Sacrifice, then add some customization to create a little wonder and magic?


As part of your appointment reminder email message, what about a picture of your lobby or your assistant who will greet them? Or your office fish tank or cacti garden with the message about the latest addition you’ll show them when they arrive? Could you text them a short video message on their mobile telephone so that they can see your face when you tell them that you’re genuinely looking forward to seeing them?


How can you fun it up?


Better still, how can customize it so that it has personal meaning to them?


Remember, in the Experience Economy, there are 4 other stages of experience besides the time you actually spend with a client. There are the events leading up to your meeting and those that follow it. And at each of those stages, you have the opportunity to stage an experience, to create a memory and to show them something unique about working with you that differentiates you from the crowd.


Your work with them is serious, but the moments leading up to it and trailing after it don’t always need to be. They do need to be memorable and uniquely you.


Before I let you go – a reminder: I’m hosting a free webinar on the enticing stage of customer design this March 30th, at 3PM EST. Details for signing up are in the notes.

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