The moments in between

A friend of mine was once upgraded to First Class when flying for work.  She was stoked! To be fair, her company had paid for all the flights that gave her the status credits to be chosen for the upgrade, but that’s cool – she was the one actually travelling!

The cabin crew, of which there were four, only had eight passengers to look after – how’s that for a ratio! There’d be no “umm, excuse me…excuse me….excuse me….can I please have a glass of water? Oh ok, when you’re ready….”

The in-flight service was outstanding. From the divine champagne to the beautiful menu and designer pajamas, everything was delivered smoothly and efficiently. She couldn’t fault it and she understood why you would – if you could – all the time.

However, despite all the extra bubbles, by the end of the journey, she concluded that there was very little to differentiate her First Class experience from her typical Business Class one, once in the air.  Most of the value was created before boarding and after landing. The true amazingness of flying First Class was in the seamless joy of the on-ground experience; the moments in between. There is no queueing up with fidgeting toddlers at passport control (the immigration officials come to you), no queuing up for average coffee (the staff in the lounge come to you), and there are exclusive spaces for you to freshen up between flights and go about your business in an unhurried manner.  No one seems to rush in the First Class world.

What I find interesting about this, is that most of us focus our energy and resources on delivering the things customers expect from us – the course, the event, the product. But it’s the moments in between where we actually have the best opportunity to differentiate and delight.

Where are the moments in between in your business ? How can you use them to give the customer a story to tell?

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