I just read an article about this in Reader’s Digest. Wowie. Most of the things would cause your stomach to turn, especially the three sections titled “What We Lie About,” “What You Don’t Want To Know,” and “What You’re Really Swallowing.” Sometimes that high level of trust that we place in restaurants may not be warranted.
Then I came to the end of the article and saw this snippet offered by Melissa McCracken, a longtime waitress in Hawaii.
Once on Mother’s Day, this older lady came in alone and told me that her kids weren’t able to be with her that year, but they had mailed her a gift card. So I told my manager that we had to make this an exceptional experience for her. I told her to come back with a friend some time and use her gift card because tonight, her meal was on us. We comped her dinner, and I sat with her through dessert while she told me about her kids. My coworkers were happy to cover my other tables for 15 minutes. The woman told me she would remember that dinner forever.
That’s the kind of experience that causes a customer to be so emotionally attached to your business that almost nothing will drive them away. And, they will look for reasons to buy from you more often. It is an experience driven by the unexpected, not the free meal.
Do something unexpected for your customers, and do it before the end of the year. Start the year off with a bunch of customers that have just been treated to an unexpected, good experience. Start the year off with a bunch of customers that will help you grow your business.