My love affair with service aesthetics started when working with a large aerospace company trying to win a humongous government contract to build a new fighter plane for the armed services. The company had done lots of customer intelligence gathering about the expectations of generals and admirals. They had learned a lot from the appropriations people on Capitol Hill. But, they had spent little time learning from the fighter flyer who would actually be piloting the new fighter jet.

In one focus group of Air Force fighter pilots, we asked what they hoped for in this new plane. In addition to the latest and coolest aeronautics, one pilot added…”but, we also need to look good in the cockpit!” Armed with a new nod to the aesthetics, not just the plane’s functionality, the company changed their design entry to also look great, not just fly great! They won the contract!

Aesthetics—how an experience looks, feels, smells, sounds, tastes—has grown in its importance to customers. A 3-D television will blow a child’s mind in the living room until the child goes to Disney World and experiences 4-D where the image of a ship at sea is coupled with a theatre seat that shakes, wind that blows, and water that comes from the ceiling. Walk into your local grocery store, Nordstrom, Bass ProShop, upscale hotel or Best Buy and notice the role of aesthetics and how your senses are stimulated!

Website aesthetics are also important. Today, a website is your brand…your billboard proclaiming the symbols and signs of who you are as a person and/or organization. Color matters. Purple is not only my favorite color since it communicates an elegance I would hope characterizes my work, it is also the dominate color of my favorite cartoon character—the Road Runner, a fun, agile and playful bird. Fonts, photos, and design shape the message in a way words and facts cannot.

Never forget that the artistry of your website can send strong signals to the brain of your customers that communicate your vision, priorities and distinction. What does your website signal to customers about what matters most to you?

Now, I invite you to play a game! The Open House Scavenger Hunt! Watch this 39 second video for details and then read on for the items you’re looking for in the scavenger hunt. Winners will receive a fun little surprise in the mail!

Scavenger Hunt List

1.  For which rock band did I once open?
2.  Name one of my grand-daughters.
3.  Leave an appropriate comment on a blog post and tell me the title of the post you chose.
4.  Name two of my service standards.
5.  What did the CEO of Quaker Steak and Lube call me when referring to my keynote speech?
6.  What’s the title of the most recent post under “For Innovative Service Leaders Only?
7.  List four of my past speaking clients.
8.  What are the titles of two of my speeches
9.  Who are two of the co-authors of my books?
10.Find my email address and send me your answers along with your name and mailing address so I can send you a fun little surprise!

Happy hunting! And, do me a big favor. Let me know what you think of my new, purple website!