Not long ago, my wife, daughter, and I spent a lovely afternoon at a local farm, which also happened to be hosting a food truck festival at the same time. Of course, we ate too much but at least we got some sun on our faces and a day in the fresh air. We decided to take the haybale ride around the farm and got ready to see the sights. But the sights I saw were the farmer’s missed opportunity to make this ride something special and to enhance the experience of his customers.
As we gently rode through the fields and had hay scratching our backsides, I realized this was one of the most boring rides I’ve been on in years. We saw nothing but corn stalks and no-name plantings.
I tried to guess what vegetable was growing along that vine and what fruit would soon be popping out among those leaves. Did I guess right? Who knows because I had no way of telling. All I saw was a field of green and immediately identified what was missing.
Along the route, there was no:
- Signage telling the riders what was growing along the hundreds of planted rows.
- Narration from the driver who could have explained the history of the farm and what they grow. He could have told us the different start dates of their pick-your-own fruits and vegetables too.
- Visual points of interest like scarecrows, hay bale pyramids, farm equipment, or colorful animal cutouts.
- Reminder that all the products grown there can be purchased in their store.
Finally, I would have loved to see a “farm-to-table” dinner table set up out in the field. This could have driven the point home that their produce is farm fresh and a step towards healthier eating. Yeah, maybe that is asking for too much…but you get the point I’m trying to make.
An Opportunity to Enhance the Customer Experience
These are simple yet effective ways to enhance the experience of their customers. It’s a missed opportunity for return business too.
With just a little brainstorming, they could have enhanced not only WHAT they do but HOW they do it. Don’t just think of this as a farm but as a business that wants to attract more customers. What could they have done to spread the word? To educate. To reinforce the reason for the business. What else can be added to accomplish that goal?
What Opportunities May Be Missing in YOUR Business?
- Can you add descriptive signage that informs and teaches?
- Are you forgetting to “tell your story”? How did your business start or where the inspiration came from?
- Can’t you show the business growth and what products, and services were added through the years?
- Put a “face” to the business. Show images of the founder and senior leadership. Play a brief video of the owner welcoming customers into the store.
- Can someone purchase your products online? Can they be delivered to the customer’s home?
- Do you support local charities, clubs, or sports teams? If so, there should be photos of the people who have benefited from your support along with the happy faces of the employees who helped.
- Is your business “green” or eco-friendly? Tell your customers. Don’t keep that important information to yourself.
We spend so much time, effort, and money to develop products and services to sell without thinking of the other reasons why people buy from us. Convenience, availability, price, location, and customization are just a few. It’s our job to find ways to enhance the experience of our customers.
But without sharing the right information, how would anyone know? A farmer’s missed opportunity? Don’t let that happen to you.
I’m glad you enjoyed the post, thank you. I agree, there is a fine line from telling your story to sharing too much info that becomes mind-numbing and information overloading. Customers like to hear about you but to what extent? We need to tell them enough to hook ’em but not bore them.
I love the way you think of examples, Steve. We have a local educational farm where school children go on field trips to learn that wool comes from sheep and milk from cows and neither starts its existence in a store.
On the other hand, I have also seen too many companies who are so proud of who they are and what their history is that they forget that every small detail does not necessarily add any value for the customer.
Likewise, many companies selectively show only “a gentrified picture” – yes, we may give to Second Harvest, but do we pay our employees so little that they have to rely on the food banks? We have been in business for 200 years – but originally built it on the backs of slaves or exploited immigrants.
If the customer learns the second half of these examples, touting redacted company history may backfire.