The Customer Experience

Field Notes Sweet Tooth

I recently found Field Notes as a way to regain the lost art of writing things down. Their designer, Aaron Draplin is an amazing speaker [see his Ted talk], and you can tell his philosophy and approach have permeated the company and experience.

[Let me be really clear up front, this is not a paid advertisement. I do not have anything to gain by writing about this product. I purchase them just like anyone else and I typically do not mention actual companies or products in this post, but the repeated positive experience has created an exception.]

There is something about writing something down, especially in an electronic age. The feel of the paper, the ink of the pen. Recent studies have found that writing things down (versus typing) may help us learn and retain more.

I have been filling up my own Field Notes memo books over the past years. Savoring each word, idea, and memory. They captured thoughts from random to sacred. Sitting on a park bench writing down dreams and ideas felt special and meaningful.

I have started giving them away to my close friends, inviting them into the experience.

Recently I subscribed to their quarterly shipment.

I expected to just receive the newest and latest colors/styles each quarter. But I began to realize it was more than just a few books.

Many companies sell you products.

There is something you need. You order it or go to the store and purchase it. You use it up. You purchase it again.

But a few companies invite you into an experience.

Something different, something unique. The more you spend time with them, the more you feel like you are part of something more.

As each quarterly shipment arrived, there was always something extra.

A pencil.

A pen.

A small gift.

When one shipment arrived, it even included candy to celebrate the “sweet tooth” edition.

They are also the company with the “who to blame” check box, to make sure the got the order right.

The experience continued.

I kept thinking to myself, this company is different, the experience feels different, and somehow special.

The other day another package arrived.

It was not time for another quarterly shipment.

It was something different.

To celebrate their 30th quarterly shipment, they sent along a bonus “Thank You” to all of the subscribers, customized to us.

Going the extra mile to make your customers feel important moves the relationship from a product to a customer experience.

What can we all do to move our customers from products to an experience?

To Field Notes: Thanks for leading the way.

Field Notes Carl Weber


The Today List

Yes I like lists. Lists are good. But, lists can feel like a burden. Sometimes items joining the list outpace our ability to accomplish the tasks. The lists keep growing.

While having lunch with someone close, we started to talk of lists. Our many lists. Our volumes of lists.

The paper list at work, the paper list in my office, the lists on my phone (which includes 10 ongoing lists), the list I made in my FIELD NOTES, and the new list that I just created that day during my super-secret-bonus day.

They provided a piece of advice.

“That is why I have a Today list.”

“What is a Today list?”

“It is a list where I just take a few items that I need or want to accomplish today, and put it on this small list. Then I go accomplish these few items.”

“Brilliant. I need to write that on my list (of potential blog ideas).”

Life and lists can feel a little overwhelming. The weight of all those pages and entries can crush us.

There was something incredibly freeing about taking a moment and making one more list.

Just a few items.

Just what I need or want to accomplish today.

Just today.

The Today List. Brilliant.