Creating a Customer Experience

While we already discussed customer service in Providing Stellar Customer Service, there’s more to making and maintaining long term customers. Going above beyond isn’t just how we talk to serve our clients. It goes much further than that. Engaging someone and setting yourself apart out of the gate can be the difference in a one-time customer and a lifelong one.

I’ve been a consumer for a long time and have given my money to many businesses. My encounters have varied from excellent to awful. What keeps me coming back to a business might be price or convenience. Equal to the importance of those elements is an experience.

Recently, my family discovered a new pizza place. I live in a city that has pizza joints on every corner. This newly found establishment isn’t exactly convenient to get to and their prices are higher than I normally pay for a pizza. So why travel the extra 20 minutes and spend the additional $5-6? First and foremost, the pizza is extraordinary. They offer gourmet, unique pies with fresh (and often locally grown) ingredients. In addition to the delicious food, the restaurant is unlike any other I’ve been in. Filled with memorabilia, articles and all things related to pizza, the atmosphere was entertaining. The signs were funny, casual, and lighthearted. We waited a little longer than I would’ve liked (we picked a busy day to visit). However, the staff continuously updated us and were apologetic for the wait. And that wait became a distant memory as we thoroughly enjoyed our dinner.

My experience with the delectable pizza wasn’t to make your mouth water. I’m simply illustrating how, despite some inconveniences, I will revisit that business. Next time, I may order in advance for my pick up, but I will be back!

When a business offers an “experience” that engages the customer, they set themselves apart. Hand in hand should also be good customer service, prices, and quality products. It’s a recipe for building and maintaining a loyal and happy customer base.

I believe one of the reasons Starbucks has the success it does isn’t just because they sell coffee. Lots of places sell coffee. Of course, the quality of their product plays a major part. Nevertheless, they offer an environment that encourages people to stay a while. Offering free Wi-Fi and music (that they also sell) makes one comfortable and at home. I’ve also never had bad service there. The employees are friendly and accommodating. This sets them apart from some of the other coffee chains.

I talked about food and coffee which shows where my love lies. Still, the lesson applies to whatever type of business you own. Think outside the box! What might make people choose you over your competition? If you can come up with that secret recipe, you’ll likely see more traffic and higher retention. Think about this over a cup of coffee and a slice of pizza!

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