When The Boss Is Gone…

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 The names in this blog have been changed to avoid calling anyone out!  🙂 My wife and I are creatures of habit when it comes to lunch.  We like to go to the same couple of places in in town.  So often, the people that work there know our order.  This is really true of a specific fast food burger joint in Coshocton. They do a tremendous job and know “just how we like it.”  As I walk to the counter, the lady will greet me with a grin and say, “Your usual?”  They do a great job of making us feel special each time we go in. My wife often orders something similar too.  Her “regular” order comes in a box and is available only with regular fries.  When this option first came out, Amy asked if she could switch it out for curly fries…but the team there was not allowed.  This particular meal only came with regular fries.  Ok. But here’s the cool thing.  Often, the ladies will deliver the meal with a “surprise” for my wife.  They will sneak in the curly fries, “just for her.”  It not only makes her happy, but it inevitably makes her feel special too.  And what did that cost?  Exactly nothing. Recently though, they brought out her meal with an apology.  “Sorry.  We had to bring the regular fries.  The boss is here.” Now THAT is funny.  So the employees, who are rock stars, when left to their own device are willing to go above and beyond to delight the customer.  But when the boss is in town, they have to stop.  That is SO interesting to me. How many of us are doing that to our employees?  As leaders, we sometimes set up policies and procedures to ensure that the lowest common denominator doesn’t ruin the guest experience.  But how many times are those rules keeping your rock stars from improving it? Just some “food” for thought. If you want to make sure you never miss an update, make sure to sign up for our VIP newsletter here!  Oh…and if you just want to shop for some sweet promo, click here.

But What Does the Customer Want?

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 As a business owner, entrepreneur, or even an employee, it is really easy to fall into the habit of designing solutions based on ease of use…for you.  You look at a challenge in the business, and you naturally come up with an idea that solves the problem in the easiest way for the company.  It’s understandable. You are the person that has to take care of it.  It’s natural.  It’s logical.  But you are not the person who needs the problem solved.  I found myself doing that yesterday. For those that don’t know, I am working to start a microbrewery in Coshocton, Ohio…Hasseman Brewing.  When starting any new project, especially at the beginning, you are faced with decision after decision.  Where will this furniture be?  What will the decorations look like?  What type of SWAG will we have?  How will we price it?  Oh, and just about a million other decisions.  When faced with that mountain of decisions, it’s natural to find the easiest way to solve them.  What is the path of least resistance?  How can I solve this so it is not a problem for me anymore? In that moment, I would like to encourage you (and me) to pause.  Especially at the beginning of a business, you are making some “forever decisions.”  These are the decisions that don’t feel like a big deal at the time, but then become the things that people later say “we always have done it this way.”  (This is same process that you choose the side of the bed you sleep on, only to stay there for the rest of your life!) As  you are making customer-facing decisions, don’t ask yourself how you can solve the problem.  As yourself a different set of questions: 1.  What will the customer actually want?2.  What will delight the customer?3.  How will this make them feel?4.  How can I make them smile? You get the idea.  Take the time to make your business (and your customer experience) remarkable.  

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