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Tag: travel (Page 2 of 3)

Pages of Your Passport

The passport. Perhaps the item most representative of travel, exploration, distant places, and adventure. Do you have one? What stories does it tell? Flipping through the pages is a journey through the past. From my own: Cayman Islands, what a dive trip. Galapagos, islands locked in time. Belize, the meeting of conservation and sustenance. Peru, where Machu Picchu was only one of the spectacles. Canada, because Niagara Falls from the U.S. side is only ok. Bahamas, because boating from island to island doesn’t get old.

The State Department gives 10 years between renewals. How many pages can you fill in a decade? For me, fewer than I had hoped. Don’t get me wrong, each stamp has hours of tales, but there are far more countries not represented. My next one is here, and it will tell new stories, becoming the anchor for more memories of adventures gone by.

Look at your credit union’s passport. Are the pages full? Is it tattered from use or still crisp as new? Consider it your 10-year review. How many journeys did you take for your members? Can you look back and say, “we did it all, and I’m happy to retire it for a new set of pages”?

It’s easy to get caught up in the daily crises and opportunities. We can sometimes lose sight of the overarching mission. If that happens, grab your passport. Relish in the memories of your many accomplishments, then find the blank pages, and imagine how you can serve your members in new ways.

Bonus: No waiting in customs lines.

Image credit: https://openclipart.org/detail/170991/passport-and-ticket

Earshakes vs. Handshakes

Hello, can you hear me? I’m currently flying back from LA after two days of meetings with partner companies and clients. Geek fascination: This iPad is online…while it’s magically floating over 30,000 feet above the western United States. Is the connection any good? Not particularly…no video and the streaming audio struggles. But, hey, Twitter and Facebook!

Of course, the travels got me thinking (oh no!). Much of our business is conducted over the phone and computer. It has proven an efficient and effective manner of communicating. We are able to include multiple participants spanning large geographic ranges in a single conversation. Often on short notice, something just not possible with face-to-face. Take a morning meeting with a partner in Texas, joined by others in California. Enjoy a break for lunch, then go to NYC for an operations update. Sure, since the advent of phones we could do such things, but adding the file and screen sharing really seals the deal. (Out of respect for all parties, we rarely ask for video-based meetings. If sweat pants are your thing, that’s quite alright.)

Simply put, we would be unable to build or support our client base without such technologies.

Yet there’s a value to being more than within earshot.

A partner summed it up perfectly yesterday as he explained, “we have been speaking for months; I know all of your voices and your names are a familiar sight in my inbox. But it really is great to put a person to those things!” He continued with an even more astute observation, “It was beneficial to see everyone’s faces as a question was asked, or to see their body language. On the phone, you can cover that up. In person, it’s all there.”

Could it be? Does our trust of others revolve around observing them directly? At least to some point, this is true. We make consciously-imperceptible movements when interacting with another person. You may not notice, but your brain does. Ever just “get a feeling” about someone, good or bad? Thank your brain for catching those subtle cues.

While we will always embrace the technology, efficiency, and convenience of online meetings, this will be a year of handshakes over earshakes. Are we working with you? Will you be reprinting this blog in the Metropolis Daily Bugle? (How did you get it past Jonah Jameson?)

Then grab your sonic screwdriver, open up your tricorder, draw your light saber, because you might just get a visit!

Are You Creating Members…or Experiences?

Mickey Mouse called. He insisted I return to the parks where I spent so much time as a younger geek. Especially Epcot. Of course, this time, he’s requesting that I run a 10K while there. Through World Showcase? Alright Mickey, I’m game.

It’s easier to stay on resort property for transportation and other logistics, so that’s been booked. What arrived as confirmation was beyond my expectations, but, then, upon thought, exactly what Disney would do.

A fabric jewelry box arrived in the mail, with the telltale embossed Mickey ears. “Guess Disney sent something out…ok, that’s cool.” Upon opening it, an even more prominent not-so-Hidden Mickey. A filler guide fit for a piece of fine art explains I will find a MyMagic+ flash drive as well as my own vacation details. Good thing, because my memory is entirely dependent on outside resources.

Disney Welcome Box USBWait a minute, that’s my family name on the booklet! Custom covers are worth a smile, but certainly they wouldn’t go further. I’m sure it’s the same booklet everyone gets when their trip is near…

Nearly every page is tailored to my hotel reservations, the exact dates I’ll be there, and even what the website will look like with my name on it upon logging in. You cannot help but be excited, eagerly awaiting the moment you get to pass under the Mickey-eared gates.

All they did was create a customized booklet, but by doing so, they created an emotional connection, an experience that leaves you wanting for more. Sure, their solution has high costs, but what can you do to produce the same feelings in your members?

To me, the best part of this package was that it arrived unannounced. Since I wasn’t expecting anything, I was giddy to unbox it, read through the booklet, and connect the Mickey ears USB drive included. There’s no question I am even more excited than before about my visit. In fact, the box is still sitting on my desk, since I’m so impressed with it. You can bet it will be saved as part of a memory collection for the trip!

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