What Makes a Business Worth a Detour?
My friend Sean Carpenter is an outstanding Realtor and a speaker who really cares about his clients and helping real estate agents uplevel their businesses. The first time we met, we connected instantly thanks to our common values. Sean speaks about how to be #blogworthy — he shares examples of businesses who found a way to deliver a product or service in an exceptional way that is worth writing about.
Earlier this year, I took Sean to Joe’s Pizza in the West Village for our annual lunch date during the Inman Connect conference, which takes place in Times Square.
That’s a picture of Sean and me in front of Joe’s Pizza.
Between Times Square and the West Village, there must be dozens, if not hundreds, of pizza joints. But I wanted Sean to experience Joe’s. To tweak Sean’s label a bit, Joe’s is what I consider a #detourworthy business: a business I’ll go out of my way to patronize, even if I can get a similar result from a more conveniently-located business.
What makes a business #detourworthy?
There’s a lot we can learn from Joe’s Pizza. Let’s start with the most crucial element.
I stop into the 3rd Avenue branch of Joe’s at least once a week. Sometimes, I can be there several times a week (I really love pizza). I’m there enough that when I walk in, the guys put my slice in the oven. That attention and recognition is certainly a factor that keeps me coming back. But I was coming back even before they knew me. And I frequent the other branches too. The secret is in the slice.A review from Grub Street that hangs on the wall at Joe’s Pizza really nails what is so special about a slice from Joe’s:
Cooked so it’s a few shades shy of burnt and speckled with black spots, the thin crust has that slightly yeasty tang, bends easily, and has a pudgier, puffy, and nicely-browned end crust. The cheese blisters, with occasional golden freckles, and the sauce has the brightness of fresh tomatoes. … the sauce and cheese are laid out evenly and in just the right amount so that you’re getting the ideal ratio with every bite.
This last part is the critical factor.
Have you ever eaten a slice where all the cheese pulls off after one or two bites? Or where the slice sticks together after you bend it? Nothing kills a slice of pizza more than when the cheese slides off in the first bite, leaving you with dough and some weak tomato sauce.
That doesn’t happen with a Joe’s slice. The cheese stays in place, even when the pie is straight from the oven. It stays in place even when you fold the slice in half.
Other pizza slices may start out great, but the cheese and sauce disappear by the end, revealing a bland, inferior crust. On a Joe’s slice, the experience at the end of the slice is the same as at the beginning of the slice.
What kind of experience do you provide your clients and customers?
We Remember Endings
We are often tempted to focus on the beginning, but don’t overlook the end. Studies show that we remember an experience by the peak and ending more than by how it begins. This is a psychological phenomenon called the peak-end rule.
Recency bias is the another psychological phenomenon that explains why we are more likely to remember the end than the beginning.
In fact, studies show that we will remember the last bite of a meal more than the first bite.
How Can You Apply This In Your Business?
Many people preach about generating leads and getting clients. It’s certainly important to get people in the door to your business, but it’s more important to get those people to return. It costs more to acquire new clients than to keep current clients. If you can’t get your clients to return you will be constantly reinventing the wheel.
A decent salesperson can get anyone in the door once. To get customers to return, and to go out of their way to do so, requires different skills. You must deliver an experience that keeps the customer engaged and eager to return.
Deliver an outstanding experience from beginning to end. Leave them wanting more. And watch them return.
How can you make your business #detourworthy? Share in the comments!
There’s more to learn from Joe’s Pizza. Stay tuned for the next installment of this series!