I was just surprised and delighted. Literally two minutes ago.
On Saturday the check engine light came on in our family car. Since then, my husband and I have been, well, bickering, about who was going to schlep the car through Boston to take it to the local Volvo service place. Suddenly, we each had way too much work to do to possibly find time to take it.
I just called to set up bringing it in, and was told that their mobile service technician would be by our house between 2 and 3 today. They are coming to us! No schlepping!
Someone at Boston Volvo clearly recognized a need, and figured out a way to meet it for busy individuals who find it challenging to take their car in for service. It is a brilliant insight and one that I am sure pays off handsomely for them through the power of word-of-mouth (look how happy it is making me - not only am I probably going to tell my friends how awesome this is, but I am already blogging about it).
Which brings me back to museums. If a car service place can figure out how to surprise and delight their customers, how can a museum similarly figure small ways to surprise and delight their visitors? In our recent Museum Conversation on Curating a Brand Experience, Alison Worthington, a senior marketer at Starbucks, shared with us how Starbucks tries to incorporate surprise and delight into their customer experiences through random acts of kindness (random free beverages) and pay it forward programs (give a customer a free beverage coupon to give to someone behind them in line). A museum could run similar programs, but what else can your museum do to surprise and delight your visitors? What small step can you take that will get your visitors talking about how wonderful their visit was to your museum? Can you incorporate surprise and delight into your daily visitor experience?
If your museum already surprises and delights your visitors, let us know by clicking on comments below! We would love to hear about what you are doing. And if this post inspires you to think about how your museum can surprise and delight, we would love to hear your ideas as well.