Guest post by Barbara Austin (learn more about Barbara at the end of this post)
If you’ve ever been to a touristy shopping town, you may have noticed that the best, most heavily-trafficked shops have one thing in common – they each offer a unique customer experience. They know that in order to be successful, they have to stand out from the crowd.
Wondering how to harness the power of a unique experience? Look at a certain wildflower farm and retail outlet just outside of Fredericksburg, Texas. Their primary business is in growing and selling wildflower seeds; no biggie, right? Just ordinary seeds. Ordinary, that is, until you realize that their customer experience goes way beyond wildflowers.
From the highway, the sprawling farm and gorgeous sign at the entrance immediately grab your attention. The main store contains a huge assortment of wildflower seeds, as well as really nice souvenirs, hand-painted trinkets, and clothing. Beyond the store is a beautiful courtyard, filled with plants and garden decorations for sale, and on the other side of the courtyard, are specialty stores: one featuring bird feeders galore, and the other filled with locally made jams, jellies, salsas, and honey – complete with free samples to whet customers’ appetites.
As if all that weren’t enough to lure in the crowds, they also offer tours of their wildflower fields, a butterfly exhibit, and wine tastings. Overall, they have a colorful, fresh, attractive vibe that is not only hard to resist, but fun to experience.
So what can you learn from this wildflower farm? Here are three takeaway lessons you can apply to your own business:
1. Get people excited about your product or service. Offer samples, start an insider’s club for frequent customers, or craft a unique visual experience. Use appealing, honest techniques that will not only lure people in, but get them talking about your company in a positive way.
2. In addition to having excellent products or services, give your customers such a rich, engaging experience that they won’t even notice the dent in their wallets (or if they do notice, they’ll deem your offerings + experience more than worth it).
3. Regardless of whether you operate offline, online, or both, you need to create a pleasant experience for your customers. This means keeping a clean, attractive, and well-organized space/website, with lovely product or information displays, and as little clutter as possible.
Remember that it’s not just your products or services that attract (or repel) potential customers from doing business with you. It’s the total value package of your offerings + customer experience that will really make you stand out, and ensure that your customers keep coming back for more.
About the Author:
As Chief Design Officer of CreativeGem Designs, Barbara Austin delivers “Design with Integrity”: diamond-quality print, web, and identity designs, served with her trademark sweetness and friendly service. You’ll find a treasure trove of marketing tips, design advice, and freebies, in her weekly newsletter The Diamond Mine.