Thoughts

Making Memories

In a world of quick transactions, make your customers feel they're part of something special if you want them to keep coming back.

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You know how easy it is to buy a pumpkin? A couple of taps on your phone or into your browser and you're done. Or pick one up from the veg aisle next time you're wandering through your preferred super market. It's easy. And dull.

Think about it with bread. Most of us have bread in our kitchens most of the time. And most of us either sweep it into our trolleys or click to repeat our last online order without much thought. Compare that to the thought of walking into a local bakery where the cherry-cheeked baker gives you a hearty morning greeting and a free sample of some freshly baked buns before letting you choose your loaf from a tray straight out of the oven.

The trouble with trying to appeal to an audience who only care about convenience and price is that their loyalties will shift every time a competitor undercuts you. Build your product or service into a rewarding, tactile experience though, and people will stay because they enjoy doing business with you.

They'd transformed the straightforward art of buying a squash into an adventure.

Back to the humble pumpkin. Reviled and ignored for eleven twelfths of the year and suddenly thrust into the limelight every October. I went along to a pumpkin picking event today. They'd transformed the straightforward art of buying a squash into an adventure. Kids clambered up the mighty haystack and explored the cornfield fort. Dads pretended not to be excited about firing the massive potato canon. Mums rode with their little ones on the big wheel, pointing out all the sights you could see from the top while their white-knuckled hands gripped the safety bar. The pumpkins themselves were scattered artfully across a suitably wizened field, while families hauled around wheelbarrows to pile them up and take them home.

once you create good memories, people grow an attachment to your business

It was more expensive than buy pumpkins from a supermarket. You had to pay to get in, pay for the rides, pay for the food and pay for the pumpkins. But there was nobody complaining. It was an experience, an adventure for the whole family. And once you create good memories, people grow an attachment to your business. Next year the thought of buying a pumpkin from Tesco will feel like a disappointment, no matter how cheap they are.

There are so many ways to turn your business transactions into experiences that your customers will remember fondly, from a witty sign-up process on your website to including little extras in orders (Firebox used to include a selection of sweets from the old days in each box) or adding in non-salesy interactions by helping folk solve their problems or asking their opinions.

Give some thought to your customer experience and you'll find it quickly paying off with loyalty.