Captivate your captive audience
The last time I took my boys to the local go-cart race track they had a great time.
Me, not so much. It was rather chilly in the old aircraft-hangar, and I would have welcomed a warming decaf cappuccino. And the husband is always a sucker for a bacon sandwich.
Avoid the barest minimum service
Alas, all they had in the way of coffee was weak, dirty-dishwater-coloured freeze-dried stuff that was offered with a kind of reluctance you might get from someone you’d just asked for money in the street. As for a bacon sandwich – from the looks of the kitchen facilities available, this was way beyond their capabilities and I cannot imagine the sort of look that would have warranted.
Now compare this scenario to another where, just like the go-cart place, the business owners have the benefit of a captive audience.
Give customers a reason to want to return
Jolly Nice, a farm shop in Frampton Mansell near Cirencester was set up in 2013 on the site of a disused petrol station. It began as an airstream trailer but because it responded to the demands of its customers, offering more and more reasons for them to return, they managed to turn their tiny business into a thriving enterprise.
Jolly Nice is now a collection of attractive wooden buildings and a couple of yurts and sells everything you’d expect from a farm shop and much more. It has a café selling decent coffee and hot food, a butcher shop, a deli and it offers plants and flowers for sale. It overlooks a lovely field with roaming rare breed sheep and shorthorn cattle. This truly is a business that delights its captive market, offering customers reasons to return. Indeed, all I need is the excuse for some sausages for dinner and I will make the 20-minute journey there to sit and relax in the cosy yurt or in the large spacious garden with a good coffee and a lovely home-made chocolate brownie. I will then peruse the plants before buying my meat.
The go-cart race track is missing a trick not capitalising on all the customers who frequent its business and offering them, at the very least, decent coffee and good food. With a little bit of care and attention, they could turn their visitors into loyal customers. They have the attraction – the go-cart race track – so why don’t they turn this into a successful enterprise by simply offering good quality refreshments and appealing to the parent market?
What can you offer your visitors and customers so they don’t need to go anywhere else? Whatever you’re selling, look for opportunities to make it a one-stop shop for everything to do with that product or service, and offer decent coffee if it’s appropriate – this makes it a more delightful experience for the visitor, which means they’re less likely to go elsewhere to fulfil their needs.
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