By Mark Creedon
What wineries and AirBnbs taught me about 1%ers
A new calendar year is a great time to start thinking about ways you can improve your business.
As we know, growing your business often means getting a competitive edge. I want to start off this article by asking you one question to keep in the back of your mind as you read on.
How are you going to raise your standards this year to make you stand out from your competition?
Whether your business is booming, you’re kicking goals, you’re looking to scale, or you’re setting new goals to kick this year, it’s time to start thinking about competitive ways to set yourself apart. I want to start by sharing a story about how this idea came about. Caroline and I went down to Tasmania over the holiday break and we stayed in a lot of AirBnbs. What really stood out to us wasn’t the difference between the AirBnbs themselves, but it was the approach the owners took to their business.
We stayed in one AirBnb on Bruny Island (great wine, great cheese, great beer, by the way!) and although it was a lovely spot overlooking the hills and the bays, it was the little things that were missing that made an impact on our stay.
At this particular AirBnb, there was no welcome kit, no map of the area, nothing other than a key safe to let yourself in and the basic amenities.
Another AirBnb we stayed at a few days later in Pipers Brook happened to be on a pig farm.
When we checked in, the kitchen was fully stocked. There was milk, eggs, and bacon in the fridge, fresh bread in the cupboard, and they had left a welcome book to make us feel right at home.
They even had homemade meals for purchase in the freezer!
This struck me as a really stark comparison between one business owner who simply took advantage of their great location and listed some extra space on AirBnb and another business owner who went above and beyond to made their space feel extra special, on top of their great location, by putting out those little one-percenters.
So, what are the one-percenters?
Let me break it down a bit further first. We often talk about the concept of, like, trust. We know that when people can get to know you, they can get to like you, they can get to trust you, and so they can buy from you with confidence. That process of course takes a little time.
My question to you is how do we fast-track that know, like, trust process?
We add in one-percenter gestures – little extras that really make you see the value in what’s being provided. One-percenters are the things you can do to go above and beyond for your clients.
Here’s another example. We went to one winery where the customer service made us not want to buy that extra bottle. For starters, they didn’t know their product. And while they didn’t say it explicitly, they clearly didn’t have any passion for what they were doing, it was just a job to them, and that made a huge difference to us. It’s all about creating an ambiance that makes people feel special, which this winery failed to do.
In contrast, we went to another winery, and we bought quite a few bottles there. You know why? Because the people selling the wine were passionate about their product, they had stories to share about it, and they clearly loved what they were doing. It may not have been the best wine we had (it was pretty good), but what we loved about it was the passion and stories that were behind it. We often talk about the concept that stories sell, but it’s also about how well we tell the story that counts.
Often, it comes down to the concept of shock and awe – how do you shock your listeners and leave them in awe after telling your story?
One of the great risks with this concept is that it starts and finishes with our first interaction. So, what we need to do is work out how to extend the shock and awe concept to create a long-term process that continues to provide those one-percenters. Now that doesn’t mean you need to send out a gift every week, you don’t need to go to that extreme, but what you can do is find ways to connect with your clients on a personal level. Make the effort to reach out to them on a regular basis to make sure they’re happy.
For instance, some hotels we’ve stayed at have had the manager give us a call on the second or third day just to check in and make sure everything’s going well. It’s the little things that really elevate your clients’ experience. So, I encourage you to take stock of your business. Rethink how you’re currently delivering your product or service. What are some things you could be doing a little differently that would help enhance your clients’ overall experience and make them feel special?
What are the frozen homemade meals in the freezer for your business? What are some little one-percenters that you’ve experienced that you might be able to tap into?
If you can lock in those one-percenters to add some shock and awe to your customer service, you can be sure that those efforts don’t just start and finish at the first interaction.
Mark Creedon is the founder of Business Accelerator mastermind by Metropole and business coach to some of Australia’s leading entrepreneurs – helping them build a true business, not a job.
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