I've often heard people say that the opposite of love isn' hate. It is indifference.
And indifference is exactly how lots of customers feel after interacting with many businesses. There is nothing about the product or experience that is remarkable enough to make them feel, care, or even remember anything about it the next day.
This is especially true with products and services that are often seen as commonplace or not as "exciting."
But as email copywriter Josh Earl notes, "There are no boring products. Just bored marketers."
But the powers that be at Burger Joint in Buenos Aires certainly not bored. They found a way to make me feel anything but indifferent about my trip to their restaurant.
How Burger Joint created a remarkable experience around a very common product
It started with photo of Bob Marley next to the description of the Jamaica burger. That's what intrigued my friend and I as we stood outside trying to decide if we wanted to eat dinner there.
When we got inside, the fun and quirky staff made us feel at home as we looked around at the walls that people had written all over. As we walked to the back to find a place to eat, I was pleasantly surprised by the outdoor patio, complete with a lighted fountain. It was complemented by more walls filled with graffiti and messages patrons had scrawled with markers.
When I finally got my seat, I was totally hooked by what I saw when I looked up. It was a mural of a jailed Nelson Mandela staring back at me. This message was written below the image in large letters:
"A winner is a dreamer who never gives up."
I was mesmerized. A few minutes after we finished our burgers (which were delicious by the way), another surprise appeared, as the staff opened up access to yet another large seating room that looked like it was made for people to hang out for hours.
And we did.
I took pictures of the Nelson Mandela mural before leaving. And I haven't been able to stop thinking about Burger Joint since. I'll be making another trip back there again to grab a bite to eat, and take in any more surprises I might have missed the first time around. I'm confident the experience will be another remarkable one.
The other day while roaming around my barrio, I passed by another burger restaurant. I stopped and looked inside the window. The place looked pristine and pretty. Not unlike what you might find anywhere. Instead of going in, I kept walking and started thinking about when I'd next make it to Burger Joint.
How to create a remarkable experience that gets your customers to come back
Don't worry. If quirky isn't your thing, Nelson Mandela murals don't fit with your decor, or the thought of allowing people to write on your walls makes you itch a little, you are not doomed to creating ho-hum experiences.
Follow these quick steps to guide you on how to create something your customers won't be able to stop talking about.
1. Map out every aspect of the customer experience. Leave no touch point unconsidered. Think about everywhere your customers need to go, and everything they need to do when interacting with your business. That includes when they are considering buying from you, during the purchase process, when they are actually using your products, and after they've used it.
2. Brainstorm how you can take a step away from the norm. That means you'll have to stop doing what everyone else does. Resist the urge, no matter how simple that may be. Now that doesn't mean you need to abandon best practices. But think through how you might be able to add your own spin to even the most common experiences to stand out.
Years ago, I stayed at the W Hotel in Westwood on a business trip to Los Angeles. The elevator in that hotel had cameras in it that snapped photos of you during your ride. Every time I got in the elevator, I had a personal photo shoot. Every. Time.
The elevator was just one small piece of an overall experience that I have not forgotten about years after having stayed there. When I had to go back to L.A. for another business trip, where do you think I stayed? Yep, I went right back to the W Hotel in Westwood.
The experience was remarkable enough that I wanted more.
You can create remarkable experiences for your customers. Ones that implant a permanent memory of you in their heads. One that makes them come back to you again and again.
All you have to do is plan for it. Be intentional about making your customers feel something that is the opposite of indifference.