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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

How a Chance Encounter Became a Magic Moment

Written by  Duane Bailey

When it comes to customer experience, sometimes the most unforgettable moments come from chance encounters. How your employees respond in that instant is often the difference between magic and mediocre.

Earlier this month, I was volunteering as a course marshal at the Girls on the Run® (GOTR®) 5K race in my community. GOTR® is an international organization whose “mission is to inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running.” The program runs for several weeks and concludes with a celebratory 5K running event for each participant and their buddy runner.

As one of several volunteer course marshals, I was positioned at an intersection approximately one mile from the finish. My job was to help ensure the safety of the thousands of runners who would run by me that day, keeping them on course and cheering them on. All of that changed in an instant when one participant’s buddy runner, who was her mom, emerged from the sea of runners before me to tell me she was unable to finish the race. She asked if I could find another buddy runner who could finish the race with her young daughter, whose eyes began to tear up as I called for medical assistance.

Instantly, I knew what I had to do. I asked the runner and her mom if I could be her daughter’s buddy for the remainder of the race.  They both smiled. When we got to the finish line, her mom was there waiting for us. It was an emotional moment for them – her young daughter had just finished her first 5K race, after weeks of preparation and against what surely seemed an insurmountable obstacle moments earlier. It was, as she told me, an unforgettable moment.

To them and at that moment, even as a volunteer course marshal, I was the GOTR® brand. The experience I provided to them in their time of need – which was to go the extra mile on their behalf, literally – helped to turn a chance encounter into a magic moment.

Are your employees going the extra mile for your customers? Is your customer experience filled with magic moments?

Duane Bailey

Duane Bailey

Duane Bailey is a regular contributor to The Chief Storyteller® online conversation. He has helped organizations of all sizes drive growth in revenues and market share through the development and delivery of key business messages that resonate with target audiences. He holds an MBA in International Business and a BS in Marketing. He brings 28 years of experience in marketing communications and high technology sales.

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