ThoughtWorks had its party on Friday night at the Waldorf Hotel in London. Seventy or so years ago when my grandparents were married they stayed there on their first night. Fifty years later my Grandfather was going through some old paperwork and dug out the original receipt from their stay. To celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary he wrote to the Waldorf, booking a room and enclosed a copy of the recept for their interest and ammusement. He thought nothing more of it until they arrived. They were given the same room that stayed in 50 years before. The following day when they checked out and my Gradfather was settling the bill, something was wrong. ‘This can’t be right’ he said, ‘surely you’ve left a nought off’. But it was right. The Waldorf were charging him the same price that he paid fifty years previously. That was a real magic moment.
This is rather sad, I was thinking about this post in the shower this morning. The past few weeks I’ve been going into the same Starbucks on the way to work. After a few days the barista saw that I am a creature of habit and no sooner had I walked in was she preparing a small black coffee. The first time that happened was a real magic moment (via Experience Zen). After a while though, that magic moment becomes the norm. What delighted me at first I now expect when I walk in. So in the shower this morning I was thinking about this and wondering how do you keep magic moments magic. But before I come to that, as I went into Starbucks today the barista asked me my name and introduced herself (this isn’t the US, a Cantonese local asking a stuffy Brit their name breaks social conventions I think!) So now we are on first name terms. That’s a magic moment of sorts. But after a while that too will become the norm. The real lasting magic moments are going to be those that randomly delight me. What if one day she says “don’t worry Marc, it’s on the house today”. That would be unexpected, random and special. Like being offered an upgrade on a flight without asking for it. What can you do today to randomly delight your customer?