Reagan Cook is Sr. Marketing Analyst for Global Experience Specialists. He’s worked with branding, strategy, and marketing for more than 30 years.
Let’s face it. In our personal lives our significant others appreciate the flowers or the small token we deliver because it signals we were thinking of them and took time to act on that thought in a kind, loving way. It’s the time and effort they usually appreciate most.
Ken Robinson wrote in his great book, “The Element,” “We need to challenge what we take for granted about our abilities and the abilities of other people. This isn’t as easy as one might imagine. Part of the problem with identifying the things we take for granted is that we don’t know what they are because we take them for granted in the first place.” [Ken Robinson’s Ted Talks – education/human capacity or on creativity.]
So how does this apply to the work we all perform in different businesses? The starting point for creating delight is recognizing what we take for granted in our own work – when ideas are routine, stale, or not challenging the status quo. These are red flags. When we encounter them, we owe it to our customers to challenge current thinking and consider taking different actions.
If you want to challenge your current thinking and delight your customers, event attendees or even your boss, consider these ideas:
1). Change your perspective. What happens if you consider the opportunity from a different angle –from the customer’s perspective or their customers’ perspective?
2). Change your environment. Have you tried working in a more inspiring space?
3). Change your media. Perhaps a different tool or a new method will help you see a different solution. Do you think better when you’re moving, exercising or listening to inspiring music?
4). Look for connections or relationships between ideas you’ve never noticed before. In a very casual setting, Beatle George Harrison wrote “Handle with Care,” after seeing the label on a crate. His friends Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty, and Jeff Lynne sang along impromptu, and “Handle with Care” became one of Harrison’s best songs, according to Robinson.
5). Connect with the ideas and energy of other people. Others may support you, adding substance to your ideas. This includes suppliers and partners.
6). Clear distractions and focus on the real issue. Distractions steal energy and interrupt your thinking processes when you need them most.
Innovation and creativity thrive in organizations with open minds. From our experience, the most inspiring ideas come when we collaborate with clients on a particular challenge. While the first step may be identifying opportunities for delight and innovation, the critical next steps involve considering new options and methods to gain measurable new outcomes.
Quality growth is more critical than ever, and it takes new thinking and new energy to make it happen consistently and sustainably. The results deliver innovation, competitive advantage and certainly customer delight.
How will you delight your customers in 2014? Share your ideas by commenting below.