People don’t buy a product or service for what it is. They buy an experience.
Here’s an example: our hotel in Kalymnos.
We couldn’t get into the hotel we really wanted, the one we stayed in last year. Hotels here tend to be fairly basic, and the one we stayed in last year wasn’t. It was lovely.
So I booked an unknown hotel instead, on the top road, 160 steps above the main little town.
When we arrived, at the end of a very long day, hot and tired, I was profoundly disappointed. It was basic. The bathroom was not up to my high bathroom standards. And the pillows were very thin. I was, to be honest, a bit grumpy about the whole thing and had a little grumble about finding a better hotel the next day.
On waking the next day, I did feel a little better… but still a bit grumpy about the whole hotel thing.
Until we met Katina.
Katina worked on the reception desk in the mornings and she was probably one of the loveliest people I’ve ever known. She couldn’t have been more warm or welcoming. She brought us coffee, asked us about our journey, about our plans while we were here, and told us a few things we didn’t know about the island and the area we’re staying.
I decided then and there that this hotel was fine. Great, even.
Nothing was too much trouble. They brought us an extra couple of pillows. Gave us a cold orange juice when we looked particularly hot, tired, and dusty. And always with a huge smile.
I went from being grumpy about a cheap hotel being cheap, to thinking it was ace – and all because of the experience. Don’t misunderstand me: the hotel was very clean and comfortable, it’s just a bit old and tired and I’m fussy about bathrooms. But the experience of staying here, of being so warmly welcomed by Katina, meant I focused on the good stuff and the less-good stuff just melted away.
So consider: what do your customers experience when they choose you? Could it be anybody? Good service, good product, all round good stuff? Or do your customers go away thinking, “wow!”?
It doesn’t have to be massive gestures, either. Small things make the biggest difference.
Struggling to put that across in your marketing? Don’t even know where to begin? Why not Borrow My Brain. Get my perspective on your business and issues for half an hour over Skype.
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Vicky Fraser is a copywriter, author, and entrepreneur. She really did run away with the circus… but when she’s not swinging from a trapeze, she’s showing other copywriters and small business owners how to work with better clients, make more money, and stop missing bathtimes, first words, and dinners with angry partners. In fact, she wrote the book on it. Get your copy here.