FANtastic Coffee

As a frequent traveler, I often find myself in airports searching for nuggets of inspiration hiding in between the runways. I was on a four-hour layover in the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International airport and had grown a little tired of the book I had been reading since I had left home three days prior, so I put it away and decided to cure my boredom with a cup of Starbuck’s coffee. You may be thinking to yourself “why not grab a real drink”? Even in today’s stressful travel environment, I have yet to lose my temper and I credit my perfect record to the fact that I don’t have [real drinks] in airport lounges. I strolled over to the Starbucks next to gate A-16 where I stood in line. I was a little surprised at how many people they had working behind the counter. After a few “how many Starbucks employees does it take to screw in a light bulb” jokes had flashed through my head, I perused the menu. The employees behind the counter were having a great time. They were laughing, joking around, and seemed to be having a lot of fun as they took orders and made coffee. I heard a voice say “hi, how ya doin”? I turned to see a pleasant young lady behind the register talking to me. I was a little taken aback as many of us are when weare actually confronted with good customer service, so in my best Joey Tribiani voice (if you don’t know who Joey Tribiani is then ask someone under 40) I said “how you doin?” I told her what I wanted and she asked my name. “my name is Patrick” “Hi Patrick…. hey everybody this is Patrick” more hellos and smiles from behind the counter. I answered a few questions about my trip and by the time I received my order, I felt as if I was saying goodbye to old friends. I got two more cups of coffee on my layover. Not because I particularly like the coffee, but because a few outstanding Starbucks employees chose to include me in their good time. The employees of the gate A-16 Starbucks understand that having fun at work is important but including the customer in the fun is profitable.

How are your customers being included? When you make a customer feel important you are creating an intimate connection
that will turn them into fans. One common trait of fans is loyalty. Loyal fans are not buying a product, they are buying YOU !!

HERE ARE THREE WAYS TO TURN CUSTOMERS INTO FANS:

1. BE PREPARED !! know as much about their business as you possibly can. In addition to reading strategic pages from their website, spend time on the websites of national trade associations that relate to their company. Read the white papers, best practices, and understand the issues and new legislation that could affect their business. If you have a firm understanding of the issues that impact their bottom line, you can more easily fill their needs.

2. FIND A COMMON INTEREST!! Do you both play the guitar? Do you both enjoy imported beer? Do you share a love of Saltwater fishing? Find a common link that intimately connects you to the prospect.

3. BECOME A RESOURCE!!  Continually send emails, articles, and “swag” with the sole purpose of building their business or positively supporting the common interest you both share. If the consistency of your correspondence is supported by a genuine desire to be helpful then you have turned a prospect into a client and a client into a fan.

Patrick Henry is a songwriter, author, and speaker, who shows clients how to create distinction in the market place and
 blow away the competition with the four keys to becoming a “ROCKSTAR IN A ROOM FULL OF KARAOKE SINGERS”. Patrick’s entertaining programs show audiences what happens when Keynotes, Comedy, and Concerts Collide. For more information go to www.PatrickHenrySpeaker.com

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