With all the noise and distraction even great can fall short. It's not that people and companies intentionally force mediocrity our way. In fact, it's their lack of intention that usually results in mediocrity. But given a choice, I strongly believe most people would choose awesome.
Awesome experiences can be created anytime, anyplace, so why isn't the world overflowing with them? Primarily because creating them requires forethought, creativity, planning and execution. It takes time, skill and an understanding of how to turn a mediocre or "just OK" experience into one that is meaningful and memorable for everyone.
Three key characteristics define an awesome experience:
1. Fulfill The Need
At the very least, a good experience requires you to be a trusted provider and resolve whatever need is at hand. Anything less is simply a bad experience. A customer wants to reliably get what they expect. People crave dependability. Without basic needs being met, people are anxious, concerned and closed. Of course if all you do is provide basic needs, you'll be commoditized, and rarely considered if better choices are available.
2. Provide Entertainment
You can go from good to great by making the experience fun. Engage the participants so they enjoy the activity. Often in sales, building relationships does this. It's more fun doing the most mundane of transactions when you like the people with whom you are working. Customer retention is often dependent on this element.
3. Create the Unexpected
This is certainly the hardest of the three components to achieve, but by far the most critical. Today people are bombarded with so much information and it's rare that they are surprised. Find a way to wake people up in a way that is relevant to the experience you want them to remember. Consider where their thoughts are likely to go and take them a different and wonderful direction. This way they have a huge Aha! moment that makes them remember the experience for a long time to come.
Only providing two out of three of these components will come up short. The awesome experience requires the complete convergence of need, entertainment, and the unexpected, nothing less. Pursuing the awesome experience doesn't require lots of money, props or even other people. It mainly requires a decision on your part to make it happen and then a commitment to execute. Of course pursuing the awesome experience doesn't assure it will occur, but if you never attempt, you and those around you are sure to be forever suffering mediocrity.