Here’s how AHA moments create and reinforce relationships with customers.

Aha moments take you from looking at something one way to looking at it in a new way.

Here are some official definitions of aha moment: a moment of sudden insight or discovery (Oxford Dictionary); a moment of sudden realization, inspiration, insight, recognition, or comprehension (Merriam-Webster Dictionary).

Aha moments are one of the most powerful experiences people can have in both getting a new perspective and remembering something. (In case you want to deep dive into scientific papers: Here’s some research about the positive impact on shifting perspective. And here’s some research on the increased recall.)

Aha moments can also create a compelling experience that helps get and keep good customers.

How can you do that? And how would you do that?

Customers generally regard businesses from a utilitarian perspective until experience shows otherwise. They look at product or service type and availability, price, location, and convenience. That’s the existing state of mind.

An aha moment shifts that state of mind and causes the customer to both see your business differently AND remember the experience and you. An aha moment makes you stand out from the crowd and in the customer’s life. We all want that for our business, right?

Some examples:

  1. A friend of mine recently shared this experience with me. She had an auto repair shop she normally used—nothing special, but decent work. Then one day she went by an auto repair shop that was offering a special free short workshop for women to learn how to do some of the basics with their cars. My friend often finds herself on her own towing a large horse trailer over the desert mountains, so this piqued her interest. She went, along with a few other women, and learned some good stuff. More importantly, she had the experience that this auto repair shop understood her and cared enough to help out for free—and aha moment for her. Well, she switched and now loyally takes her vehicle to this place.
  2. Another friend of mine owns and manages a large apartment complex. When the pandemic struck, he changed a lot of the process for leasing to have little to no contact with people directly. He discovered that by changing that process he could also add weekends and evenings for people to take a look at the apartments and also apply. All with no interaction. He actually got more people applying and reduced his vacancy rate—people were surprised and delighted that they could come outside work hours to get this done. An aha moment for them.
  3. A professional acquaintance of mine coaches people on building a single page strategic plan for their business. She recently held a webinar to show people how this is possible. In the webinar, she gave away the entire framework for it—how to put it together, questions to ask for each section, and an example of one completed! People were surprised and excited to get their hands on this. That was an aha moment—free, high value, useable tools, explained with care and respect. And you know what? Almost everyone in the webinar signed up for her 4-week coaching group for getting this done. Why? Because she set the tone for her being different than the average and people wanted more.

You can create aha moments for your business. The key ingredient is understanding what would surprise and delight your customer so they shift their perception of your business from one that transacts to one that cares.

Let me know what ideas you have—I’m happy to reply with some if you tell me what you do and who you do it for.

A moment’s insight is sometimes worth a life’s experience.”

—Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.