A friend and I were recently having lunch in a fairly new café and the experience was ……. Just ordinary. Food was okay and the service wasn’t bad, the staff just didn’t do anything extra to provide that all important experience. It was just another transactional process that most of us experience day in day out. Would we go back? Having been there a couple of times and experiencing similar service last time, we’ll look to go somewhere else next time.
Can any business afford to have their customers thinking about going elsewhere? – I don’t think so. So what does a business need to do to create an experience? You only have to look at Uber for a start-up business that has looked at all the frustrations we face when catching a conventional taxi and focussed on those issues as their points of difference. Now the taxi industry is trying to catch up, but they are miles behind, in an industry they had and took for granted.
So what can you do in your business to be different? If it’s your product, that’s great until someone else copies or does it better. I believe it’s all about the experience your customers receive when they come face to face with you and your staff. Transacting your customers is a sure way to tell them to try somewhere else, you have to create an experience.
From my experience, customers don’t expect a lot, it’s the little things that will make a big difference. Here’s two poor examples and how they could so easily be fixed:
A client of mine takes his daughter to a café for a particular product that his daughter loves. I asked if the staff members interact with his daughter while they are there, no was the answer! How hard is to say a few words to kids, parents usually love this and the staff show they care.
In our café experience all we got when the waitress cleared the table was “Have you finished?” It was like she wanted to get rid of us. So easy to add in “How were the meals today?” or “Can I tempt you with another coffee/cold drink?”
Simple things that staff can do, so why don’t they? Perhaps they don’t realise they need to or they don’t care. The second reason means it’s time they moved on. The first reason means they need to be made aware of what they could do and importantly why.
If you want to stand out maybe it’s time to get your team together to discuss how you could wow your customers and put these steps in place. If you don’t your competition will!
If you would like to read more about the importance of creating an experience, click on this link to read about “Why you should be designing experiences and not products”
Roger Simpson – CEO, The Retail Solution and Author of “The Retail Solution” With over 35 years’ industry experience, Roger Simpson is recognized as Australia’s #1 Authority on customer ROI in the retail industry and as a global expert on staff coaching, customer service and selling skills.