Have you ever had a line up of customers out the door clamouring for your products and services? Happy to wait until their turn? Even better, did they continue to stand in line even when the product they came in for was sold out?
I ask because of a recent personal experience of mine that I wanted to share with you that struck me as a great success story on customer experience.
I was on my way for a week long camping trip with family and friends when we stopped at a small meat shop in the middle of nowhere, in Hedley BC. Doug’s Homestead is a hundred kilometres from anywhere, on a lone road with a brief scattering of buildings here and there. From the outside it looks like nothing, no reason to stop, no reason to even pay attention to the small building.
We did stop, because the friend I was with had stopped the year before for their amazing beef jerky. We walked into the store, just barely making it into the door. Peering around the many people standing in front of the counter we soon realized the beef jerky case was completely empty, not even a crumb remained. You`d think we would have simply turned and walked out the door we had just come in from.
Not the case. In fact, no sooner had I made the disappointing discovery we would not be chewing on fantastic beef jerky then my attention was completely captured by what was happening before me. The lady behind the counter was serving up their homemade pepperoni, having customers guess the price based on the weight of one piece of the pepperoni they had chosen. The customer would yell out their guess, the whole room waited with baited breathe, and the server shouted out the price. An answering shout would go out from the crowd based on how close the guess was.
The people in the store were having fun and as I stood in line, I had the chance to look around me to see the other tasty offerings. I ended up buying 6 sticks of garlic pepperoni, homemade chocolate chip cookies and some candies for the kids when all I really came for was beef jerky.
When we finally reached the cashier we asked about the beef jerky. The lady behind the till replied `We open at 9, it`s sold out by 9:30“.
So how can a tiny little store, in the middle of nowhere, be filled to the rafters with customers, sell out a product every day half an hour after opening and be so successful that word of mouth spreads so effectively? I came in for one thing and left with an entirely different purchase, and was happy to spend my money there. I left satisfied and excited to come back next year on our yearly trek to the middle of nowhere.
THAT is what I call customer experience. Not only get your customers into your door, but keep them there. Have some method to interest them enough to give you the opportunity to sell your other products and services. Have them leave with a smile on their face ready and willing to tell anyone who will listen about the incredible experience they just had. Best of all, keep them coming back!
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