Do you Create a Unique Business Experience?
This has been on my mind for a few months and I'd like to bring it out and examine it with your help – if you don't mind.
The question is “Why do you choose to do business with a specific company or person?”
And, the followup question is “How can we take the answer to THAT question and apply it to our own businesses?”
I've got a bunch of examples that I'd like to go through from my recent travels, but I think that I'll unveil them a bit at a time so we can really ponder this question and our answers.
You up for it?
I'd also love love love for you to share your experiences in the comments – pretty please.
ok. Here's the story.
I've been traveling recently and have had to make some quick and dirty decisions along the way about where and how I wanted to spend our money. Obviously. That happens to everyone when they're on the road, right?
Also, I realized that I have a problem. Every year that I take the family to Wisconsin to visit relatives, we have to stay longer simply because we want to do all the same stuff again AND we discover new things to do each time.
This includes a variety of things.
- Visiting the same relatives.
- Spending time with the same friends.
- Eating at the same places.
- Seeing the same things.
- Experiencing the same experiences.
BUT – we want to do different things, too.
However, there are only 24 hours in a day, and only so many times we can eat during the day (although we do push that limit when there's reaaaaaally good food).
So, I got to wondering why some places earn our money and others don't during each trip.
And, one of the big factors came down to the experience.
Honestly, several of the restaurants in my home town order the exact same premade food from the same supplier and cook it following the same directions. So, why would I eat either? Good question. I'm still trying to figure that out! 😉
But, how do I choose? Easy. The experience.
And by that, there could be any number of factors involved.
Is it too loud?
Do I have to park on a busy road or struggle to find a parking spot?
Are they helpful?
Example: There is one place here in Pensacola that serves really good food, but we haven't been there in years – simply because the staff was not friendly. They weren't rude or anything. We just didn't leave with a positive experience the last few times we went there, so we decided not to go anymore.
Obviously if there's a family-owned business, and I know the owner – I'd be more likely to go there than to the competition.
For instance – one place we like to go is to
oops! Post published. Will finish it in a bit. 🙂 After coffee…
I appreciate shares and I adore comments! Please share your thoughts.
PatriciaMarch 28, 2011 at 7:36 am
The blog is not complete? I guess there is a part missing.
The HappypreneurMarch 28, 2011 at 9:22 am
Experience is everything no matter what business we are in. No matter how automated everything is, it still comes down to building relationships, great service and quality goods. Thanks Nicole!
KellyMarch 28, 2011 at 10:54 am
You are so right. There are many elements that contribute to my enjoyment or annoyance with a business in the offline world. Slow service, dismissive staff, inconvenient parking, tiny bathroom stalls, complicated automatic phone systems… With so many ways to turn me off – a business has to be a good fit to keep me as a customer.
I’ll have to think awhile about what turns me off or appeals to me about an online business…
The MomMarch 28, 2011 at 11:33 am
Restaurants and blogs have SO MUCH in common!
Can you find the place easily?
When you get there is it easy to park and find your way around?
Are the people you meet friendly and genuine?
Is the menu appealing?
Is there enough to keep you interested but not too much that you just feel overwhelmed and can’t make a decision?
When it’s time to go, do you make a mental note to visit again soon?
Thanks Nicole for this quick glimpse into what makes a place worthy of our business. Love how you closed without giving us ALL your tips… I’m still HUNGRY! tee hee! 😀
Lain EhmannMarch 28, 2011 at 12:59 pm
As I get older I get pickier about where I spend my money. Service is HUGE. if someone doesn’t seem to appreciate me or take note of me as a customer – or even THANK me, I’m not likely to return again. The exception is certain fast food restaurant where the service is absolutely horrible, but it’s convenient. I curs myself every time I go there to get my soda, and truth be told I often drive an extra five miles just to get the same product from another outlet because I can’t take the bad service.
Looking forward to hearing more from you!
David Duane WilsonMarch 28, 2011 at 7:31 pm
Nicole you have done it again! What an interesting question to ask. Why are we repeat customers to certain businesses? The answer, as you have explained, is the experience that we realize. Whether from helpful staff, the ambiance or the relationship, it is the extra value that is received with the basic product that keeps us coming back. How should we apply this concept to our own business, over deliver with value. Make sure the customer has received more than they thought they had purchased.
Leonora LaMantiaMarch 28, 2011 at 9:19 pm
Though this is from almost a year ago, it’s a classic illustration of the kind of “experience” to which you refer (and note that Wally uses that very term):
A Tale of Long Lines and the Best French Toast in Western Civilization
BeelissaMarch 29, 2011 at 2:26 pm
Price, Products and Convenience. These are why I choose a certain business. Along with Familiarity. Once I’m familiar with something, I’m more likely to go there if I had a good experience before. And I’m likely to go somewhere that looks friendly (or where prices or other info is visible) when I have to choose between several unknowns.
Angela WillsMarch 30, 2011 at 7:49 pm
Great post Nicole!
I would say what keeps me/gets me as a customer are these factors:
1. Price – There is a local movie theatre that’s cheap. Like $4 each for matinees. The service sucks, the seats are small, if a tall person sits in front of you they block you and the bathrooms are usually not greatly cared for. But I go back! Sounds crazy but the next theatre is 30 minutes away and it’s MUCH more expensive even though the overall experience and service there is much, much better.
2. Quality – Just today I ran out to the grocery store and I went to the ‘expensive’ store because I wanted some nice produce. I do love the ‘cheaper’ grocery store and buy from there often but today quality won out over price.
3. Service – I’ll put up with bad service for some things, like my movies and my groceries, but not when it comes to things like getting my hair did or ordering a meal at a restaurant.
I think those three points there translate into my own business. I strive to meet all three fairly in my business.
RachelMarch 31, 2011 at 10:18 am
If we dont have much experience then our business is most likely going to fail. I couldn’t agree more with this article.
benMay 30, 2011 at 11:28 pm
hahahaha you left me there hanging Nicole. When does your coffee time ends, so that you can continue writing and sharing your views to us? I absolutely agree with you, what makes a customer coming in for more and more is the uniqueness of the style the business is being offered plus the feeling of being at home inspite of..