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It’s the experience, not the coffee

It Is About the Experience, Not the Coffee

I admire Starbucks. The company gets it. I go to its coffee shops and meet business associates there…even though I do not care for their coffee. It is way too strong for me. But I still go there and encourage others to as well. Company Chairman Howard Schultz (no relation to me, unfortunately) has figured it out. He has created an experience like no other.

            So why do I go there if I do not care for the coffee? Is that not what Starbucks is about? No! The coffee is only one part of the experience. There are also the comfy couches. How many customers would rather sit on a hard stool as opposed to a cozy sofa? Then there is the soft music that plays ever so lightly in the background, and the Wi-Fi. Some other coffee shops now offer similar touches, but I believe Starbucks was the first. The walls of its shops are dark and feature nice artwork. It makes me feel like I am in my living room and not a coffee shop. (And if, like me, you do not care for their coffee, try the caramel apple cider.)

            So how do we accomplish that kind of experience in our own businesses?

            First, it is not about having the best product. “Best” is merely subjective anyway. Have you ever told someone your company was ranked number one in the industry? If that were so important, everyone would switch to you, and there would be no number two—or any other competitor.

            So what experience are you leaving your customers with? What feeling are they getting when working with you? Is it different? Is it unique? Can they not achieve that experience anywhere else?

            Are they getting a good feeling from working with you, or are they feeling that you do a good job?

            A good job is intellectual: “I got what I paid for.” A good feeling is an emotion. And emotion is the extra something, the wow factor that is beyond the expectation.

            It is akin to Starbucks’ comfy, cozy couches.

            What are some things you do to create the wow factor? What is the something extra customers experience in working with you that makes you different from your competitors?

            If you want to create more of that experience, you should brainstorm. Meet with a few people you admire and shoot around some ideas.

            Maybe you can do that at your local Starbucks.

Greta Schulz is President of Proactive Training. For 1 month  free on-line sales training book course click on www.officialb2bsalestraining.com

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