This guest post is from Jeremy Epstein, VP of Marketing and Social Navigator at Sprinklr.
I got back from a trip to the West Coast and was frantically looking for my favorite pair of glasses. The red eye had worn me out and I had taken them off (replacing them with another pair) for the flight. Somewhere along the way, I misplaced them. That’s when I noticed I was out of contact lenses as well.
Combine that with the fact that I had to squint at the clock across the room — the confluence of events made me feel the pain: “That’s it, I’m going to see about LASIK.”
So, I put out the word…
(To get the express version, you can check out this video with the good doctor.)
Not a Doctor, A Medical Experience
Now, one of the things I talk about a lot on my blog is the difference between expected and unexpected. That you need to “Plus it up,” and when you do that, you trigger emotions that create memories.
You transform a moment into an experience that connects with your audience. That transformation is what empowers your audience to become your Raving Fans and to spread the word on your behalf.
But, that’s beside the point.
As I went through the consult experience, I started to ask myself if it had been designed by Disney.
- Clean, light office? Check
- Friendly receptionists? You bet (that’s a huge thing for me, as you know).
- Free coffee and wi-fi? Yep. (Take that, Starbucks.)
But, in some respects, that is table stakes. Then, they say to you, “We need you to fill out some forms.” We’ve all been there, and we all hate it, right?
Well, they take you over to a computer and, in about four minutes, you are finished typing away and click “Done.” By the time you get back to the receptionists (even if you don’t stop for coffee, like I did), the forms are printed out, awaiting your signature. As soon as you put the pen down, you are escorted to a comfortable couch where you watch a five minute video that is essentially the LASIK FAQ’s.
It’s personal, friendly, informative, and meets the objective of being a “trusted resource” when it comes to LASIK. At the end, you feel educated and empowered. Heck, I was ready to sign at that point.
You step away and someone says, “Right this way” and over the next 15 minutes or so, you go in and out of three different exam rooms where two different specialists (who are both friendly and knowledgeable) take the measurements, etc. to determine if you are a candidate. After a short wait in the lobby, you are pulled into Dr. Goel’s office for a final chat. No hard sell here. He doesn’t even talk dollars with you (leaving that to the business person at the front end) and just explains what’s involved.
How the Experience Builds the Brand
Now, he’s done 66,000 eyes (he knows because the company that sells the 500K machine charges him for each eye), but he makes you feel like your eyes are the the most important ones he’s ever going to do because he knows, that for you, they are.
That combination of trust and empathy, wrapped in an emotionally powerful experience, makes you feel like not only is this the right procedure for you, but that his office is the right place to do it. I was so impressed by the overarching experience that I had to pull out the FlipCam to ask about how he creates this culture. You can check out this video to understand more about it.
With so many commoditized offerings (and let’s be honest, there are a lot of LASIK places out there), what you see when you go through his consult is an attention-to-detail that consistently reinforces the desired objective: This is someone you can feel comfortable with and whom you can trust. When you’re thinking about having a laser on your eyes, that’s a pretty important thing to consider.
And, in my mind, it proves once again that you need not be a professional marketer to be great at marketing… what you need is a keen understanding of how to put yourself in the shoes of the customers and prospects and ask yourself: “What would make me feel better about this company at this particular point?”
Then, do that.
And, when I left, I noticed the eyeglass donation bin. A reminder that you don’t need them anymore and reinforcing Sonny’s core belief about helping people see better. Fantastic.