Finding Real Bliss

“Moments that matter” represent opportunities to create true moments of bliss for customers.

by Josh McVeigh

I was listening to Radiolab the other day- a great podcast that explores the full gamut of science, philosophy, and the human experience from unexpected angles. The subject of this particular episode was bliss; we’re not talking about everyday happiness here but real deal, yell-out-loud unbridled bliss. In the podcast, Jad Abumrad interviews a fellow by the name of Aleksander Gamme who is a modern day adventurer/ explorer. He tells a story about a one-man cross country ski expedition he took to the South Pole. During the first portion of the trip, he buried supplies in the snow periodically so that on the return journey he can uncover and consume these packets of supplies.  On day 86 of his trek, he uncovers the final supply packet with no recollection of what he may have left in it. What he finds inside (an extra-large bag of Cheez Doodles) puts him into what can only be described as a state of bliss. Check it out: Radio Lab: Mr. Bliss.

It’s impossible not to be caught up in his enthusiasm. Although comical, there is a real, visceral aspect to his experience- one that is relatable to all humans on a pre-historic level. After I absorbed the abnormality of what I heard, I couldn’t help but think “I want to feel that way!”

So let’s take a moment to examine and try to better understand this feeling of bliss. It’s obvious from his reaction that he is thinking of nothing but the glory of the moment that he is caught up in- truly oblivious to everything else. In the moment he stops, almost having surprised himself with his reaction, but continues to be caught up in an overwhelming excitement. Although he is operating in an extreme scenario, we can still pretty clearly define the core circumstances that have brought this moment about:

He is under duress (physical and mental).

He has low expectations or fears a bad outcome.

He is surprised by a “perfect” and unexpected outcome.

His delight is reinforced when he finds a second item in his cache, building on the original experience.

This experience can be described in two distinct parts: a forward stressor (in this case extreme physical duress and mental strain coupled with the experience of finding nothing of value in the upper portion of his cache) and an unexpected delight (he finds an item that is specifically tailored to his exact core needs in that moment).

When you look at the bare bone circumstances of this experience, it is quickly apparent that we go through the initial stages of this experience every day. Arguably, the reliance we have in modern society on so many goods and services makes it unavoidable. Thanks to the complex lives we live, the stressors in our lives are plentiful. When was the last time your internet went out or your car needed maintenance for example? Are your electronics having issues? Were you dropped from your insurance policy or did your credit card stop working? I would bet that one or more of these things has happened to you recently. Each of these “moments that matter” represents a unique opportunity in which a prudent service provider has the ability to create a moment of bliss for their customer. Despite increasing recognition of this potential, the vast majority of these moment pass unanswered leaving customers in a constant state of wanting. Why do we pass on these moments? Do we not know when our customers are in need or do we think we don’t have the power to create customer bliss?

In many cases it is not a novel or extravagant solution that is needed to delight your customers, but simply delivering exactly what they need at exactly the right time. Our explorer didn’t need to find a steak dinner in his cache to feel bliss- he had reasonable expectations and simply got exactly what he wanted at exactly the right moment. Many companies today discount their ability to delight their customers because they feel that it will be too expensive or too difficult, but at its core, customer bliss comes from the simple act of providing what customers need at the moment they need it.

Have you identified the moments that matter to your customers? Have you been able to make your customers yell in delight? Let us help!

Josh McVeigh
Josh McVeigh
Senior Consultant
Contact Josh

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