“You’ll nefver guess who will be the main attraction at our 6pm wine and cheese reception in the lobby.  Last week we had a fortune teller everyone insisted was an extraterrestrial!”


It was the “come on down” greeting on my guest room desk at the Hotel Monaco.  I was planning on having dinner with friends at 6pm but I called them and rescheduled it until seven.  The mystery was getting to me!  To borrow a line from one of Clint Eastwood’s blockbuster movies, Dirty Harry, “I got’s to know.”


Mystery is one of the most powerful tools for ramping up the sparkle in customer experience.  It is the foundation for the 100+ year old Cracker Jacks.  You know there is a “free prize inside,” you just don’t know what it is going to be. Tesla has made it known some of their vehicles contain “Easter eggs”—whimsical additions like a GPS map that can look like the surface of Mars.  Press the charger 10 times in quick succession while charging your car and the port will put on a miniature light show.  The key to their tactic is discovery—Easter eggs instructions are not in the owner’s manual.


One of my favorites is the Magic Castle in Beverly Hills.  It is an antique giant home that has been turned into entertainment for magicians and their guests.  First, there is dinner.  Then, you are entertained in one of three different theaters, including the intimate Close-up Gallery that seats about 20 people, a larger Parlour of Prestidigitation, and the largest stage in the Palace of Mystery.  How do you get in this private club?  You have to be a member or a guest of a member and you have to know the secret word given to you when you are invited.


Want to ramp customer loyalty?  Look for ways to embed a touch of mystery in your customers’ experience.