What happens before you get to a _____<fill in blank> store, restaurant, car dealer?
The answer is endless. Traffic jam, accident, speeding ticket, screaming kids, forgotten shoes. There is no limit! What I’m saying is… You have absolutely no control over what happened to your customers before they arrived.
But guess what? It becomes your problem.
I like to think of this as Christmas Candy on December 28th. You’re at the store and bags of Christmas Hershey Kisses are 50% off while across the aisle the Valenties Day Hershey Kisses are full price.
What’s the difference? Pink and Green. Seriously – Christmas bags contain red, silver and green. Valentine’s Day holds red, silver and pink! It’s still chocolate, but there is an outside factor that changes your experience. That experience is time.
Same goes for your business. Try as you might to provide an awesome experience, the speeding ticket has fundamentally altered your guest’s arrival and ultimately will taint their experience. It’s completely out of your control… Or is it?
You can’t erase time, but you can create a time bubble. Some sort of buffer to help your customer acclamate to your experience.
Think about a theme park ride. You don’t enter the ride at the sidewalk, you need to snake through the waiting area which may include sounds, lighting, and photos to set the mood for the upcoming adventure.
How about a restaurant? They give you some scratched up buzzer square and say “go away”.
However, I recently visited a restaurant that had a sea food theme. They handed me a CLEAN buzzer thing in the shape of a cute lobster. (The red eyes blinked when our table was ready). When they handed it to me, they said, “please take a moment to enjoy the beautiful surroundings.” It was a very polite “go away”.
Dang, I didn’t realize until I walked out with the lobster that it was a beautiful evening! There was a park across the street with a lake that was equally beautiful.
The buzzer’s range covered the entire area. This was a perfect time bubble. It was the exact transition I needed to get out of “car drive with bad traffic” mode to fabulous dinner experience.
Think about your business and is there a phamplet, new greeting, treat bag, video, or even special air freshener scent that can be added to help transition your guests to your experience? You might sell “chocolate” every day, but the difference in time, i.e.; the green and pink wrapper, make a difference.
Adjust your welcome experience by creating a time bubble to bring emotional distance from the outside world to your world!