I worked 27 years toward something and finally accomplished it – and what did I get? A generic email.

For nearly three decades, I have been making payments on my mortgage and when I finally paid it off all I received was an email with a text-only PDF encouraging me to see them for my next loan. What a missed opportunity.

Not only could my lender have done something to acknowledge the landmark event (a key or “It’s all yours!” card in the mail?) but this should be a marketer’s dream for related businesses. Hardware stores, furniture stores, landscapers and related businesses should jump on the fact that I suddenly (in theory, anyway) have more disposable income that could be redirected to home improvements.

Other businesses have realized the importance of creating a tangible acknowledgment of significant events in their customer’s journey: patients ring a bell for their last cancer treatment, schools have pomp and circumstance for graduations, cruise lines take pictures of smiling passengers, weight-loss organizations make a big hoopla when a customer reaches their goal, etc. Heck, I just got a free appetizer for my yearly “anniversary” of being a member of the steakhouse e-club. Why should lenders dismiss the paying off of any loan – let alone a mortgage – without real recognition?

Think about the key events on your customer’s journey. What can you do to make them powerful experiences that will strengthen the bond you have with them? Technology makes it easy to track everything – apply some of it to make note of events that matter to your clientele.

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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