Ever been channel surfing and see a movie playing on broadcast that you own in your digital personal library and been unexpectedly delighted? Have you ever then watched that movie, commercials and editing and all, even though with very minimal effort you could watch that movie from streaming without any of that stuff?
This episode explains why you were so happy to find the movie and why it was better to watch it that way rather than stream it yourself. It’s related to the idea of serendipity, and the explanation is the result of a decade of research by Kristina Durante, (@KristinaDurante) Ph.D., Professor of Marketing at Rutgers Business School. We invited Durante to come talk with us, and much to our surprise, she accepted.
However, our surprise in this instance was not serendipity. Durante says serendipity boosts our enjoyment of something because it feels like a “gift from the gods.” The idea that fate has dealt you a good hand is one that makes people feel happier with Customer Experiences, even when they can’t attribute that good luck to the organization providing it. She says that customers like how it feels like magic.
Key Ideas to Improve your Customer Experience
Durante says that there are three main components to define serendipity. First, it must be something positive that happens. Second, it should be unexpected and unplanned. Finally, it should have no obvious source, meaning it can’t be attributed directly to anything or anybody.
Here are a few key moments in the discussion:
- 02:28 Ryan introduces our guest and explains why she is on the show.
- 04:26 Durante explains how she became interested in serendipity after the song “Material Girl” thrilled her when she heard it on the radio, but hearing it later on her playlist wasn’t the same.
- 07:42 Durante explains what their research defines as serendipity and how it differs from surprise or luck.
- 11:24 We discuss how Netflix employs a bit of serendipity in it’s “Play something” feature and why it was necessary for the Netflix viewer experience.
- 16:28 Durante discusses how serendipity is different than surprise and how this difference is essential to boosting enjoyment for customers.
- 25:42 Durante talks about ways marketers can set this up for customers in their experiences, as well as some retailers that understand and employ this concept well.
- 32:22 All three of us share our insights into how marketers can increase the feeling of serendipity in their own experiences as well as what to avoid while doing it.
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Customer Experience Information & Resources
LinkedIn recognizes Colin Shaw as one of the ‘World’s Top 150 Business Influencers.’ As a result, he has 289,000 followers of his work. Shaw is Founder and CEO of Beyond Philosophy LLC, which helps organizations unlock growth by discovering customers’ hidden, unmet needs that drive value ($). The Financial Times selected Beyond Philosophy LLC as one of the best management consultancies for the last two years. Follow Colin on LinkedIn and Twitter.
Click here to learn more about Professor Ryan Hamilton of Emory University.
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