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Published by Iperform
03 April 2014
Experience Economy, exceeding customer service expectations

According to authors B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore we have left the “Service Economy” and are now in the “Experience Economy”. In other words, service pure and simple is not enough any more – the service we provide is now just part of the experience, but does not define the entire experience.

This tells me that in order to create the sort of loyalty and advocacy we seek we have to create emotional experiences that make people say “wow”. Not necessarily a great big “WOW!” but enough to be memorable.

So what sort of experiences are we talking about here, and how do we go about creating them?

In answer to the first part of the question, I would like to share a story with you that is a great example of this type of “wow” experience……and it comes from my credit card provider!

In 2005 I was in Bali with a group of friends celebrating a milestone birthday when the second lot of terrorist bombs targeted the tourism industry. Fortunately, none of us were in any way directly affected by the events of that evening. However the following morning I received a phone call from my credit card company saying that my recent transactions indicated I was currently in Bali – they were calling to ask whether I was all right and whether there was anything they could do to be of assistance to me given the tragedy that had occurred.


Apart from the obvious, this experience impressed me from a couple of perspectives:

• Firstly that they could turn their use of technology into such an intensely personal connection

• Secondly that I had no need for their services at that time, however the intent was enough to create such a positive impression

The interesting thing is that I have held on to that credit card, in spite of the fact that I have since moved countries. I keep it because I have an emotional connection to that company through that experience.

The challenge for us – no matter what our business – is to discover how we can create an environment that not only encourages such emotional experiences, but facilitates the delivery of them through our very unemotional systems, policies and procedures.

Part of the answer lies in the culture that is created throughout the organisation. And the starting point here has to be the visible support at every level for, and celebration of, service solutions that are sometimes a little “out of the box” transforming them into unique experiences.

Another key to creating this advocacy and loyalty comes from providing the team with the coaching, role models and skills they need in order to not only identify opportunities to create memorable connections, but to also act on these opportunities.

When team members feel empowered and skilled they can create interactions with clients that become meaningful experiences - resulting in their sincere affection for your business!

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About the author:
Timothy Millett's training roles have seen him deliver programs across Australia, Asia, Europe, Africa and America ensuring cultural sensitivity as well as a broad base of experience in lecturing, teaching and training.
A graduate of the Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne, Switzerland, his hospitality career spans management and director positions in Front Office, Guest Relations, Public Relations, Food & Beverage and Training with organisations including the Regent of Melbourne, The Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group and Mövenpick Gastronomy. He was also a founding staff member of the internationally renowned Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School in Australia.
Tim is currently the Director of Training and Development at iperform, an organisation that specialises in Sales and Service, Leadership and Effective Personal Organisation programs.

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