Are you providing an “experience” for your clients?

Dr. Joseph Michelli is a world renowned speaker, consultant and author of the critically acclaimed The Starbucks Experience: 5 Principles for Turning Ordinary into Extraordinary.” I wanted to share with you one simple concept he talks about that I think is vital for small business owners. And that is the power of creating an experience for your customers/clients. Let’s look at the Starbucks example.

Dr. Michelli shares this information: a single cup of unprocessed coffee beans costs $0.04 (that’s four cents). If you process and package those beans, make them suitable for turning into a drinkable beverage, the costs goes up to $0.08/cup. Now, filter some hot water through those beans, and you can now sell that cup of coffee for $1.00. Not a bad profit margin.

Now, what if you took that simple cup of joe, and built an experience around it. Created a home-like environment with cool music, places to chill out and read, etc. You probably figured out where I’m going with this. Now, you can sell that cup of coffee for $4.00! Think about that for a moment. FOUR DOLLARS for a CUP OF COFFEE! Gas doesn’t event cost that much for a whole gallon! An added bonus I realized this week while shooting a gig here in Las Vegas, is that even when the people putting on the seminar offer FREE coffee in the back of the room, people will still go to the Starbucks in the hotel and drop $4.00 (or more) on their tall, triple shot, caramel macchiato, no foam, whatsy-hoozit. Even when there’s no Starbucks “experience” per se (e.g. table, music, etc.) It’s pretty much just a Starbucks stand. They’re so used to paying $4.00, it’s just accepted.

So, the question I pose to you: are you providing your clients with an “experience”? Particularly for those of you who market your services to a high-end clientele, providing that experience is key in commanding top dollar.

One of the “experiences” that we provide our clients is making every shoot a fun shoot. We act like we’re on a “real” Hollywood movie set, call action, cut, etc. We joke around on set. We make the clients feel like stars. Whenever possible, we’ll provide fun outtakes as well. Our shoots are fun, energetic, and memorable. That’s just one example. Here are some other examples of what you could do:

  • Provide 5-star hotel service to clients who come to your offices
  • Instead of muzak for on hold music, play a stand up comic routine (make sue whatever you do, fits your brand)
  • Put fun gifts and/or treats in with the final product you ship to your clients

What are the experiences you provide for your clients? Please share.

5 thoughts on “Are you providing an “experience” for your clients?

  1. Thanks for the blog post Ron, that was a great article to hear. As part of our “experience” that we give our clients, we just want them to “like” us. We don’t want to be stiff and make them feel uncomfortable. We want our footage to reflect how comfortable they are with us because obviously the camera is right there. SO…we LOVE to dance with our clients! Its so much fun to get out there and have a good time with them. The bride and groom, and all the guests then see you as a “normal” person, someone they can trust, so when they see you with a camera pointed in their direction, they act natural! We have had so many referrals from clients telling others, “These videographers actually dance with you, and have a good time!”. It most always leads to friendships after the wedding.

  2. Hi Ron. For us, the experience begins like many other at the website portal and then should be reflected in how you package promotional material to how the client receives the end product. We have clients that say they loved the video and they also loved the packaging. But setting the tangible things aside, it is so important to be able to meet with the client and to find out about them and let them know about you too. For us, its not always talking wedding related things but like Matt said, it is many times the beginning of a friendship. Our studio is located on the historic downtown of the town we live and on the square is a cool little wine bar called The Artist Vineyard. We like to meet at our studio and if they have time go have a glass of wine at the Vineyard. They will remember this and it is again, more face to face time so that there is a higher comfort level with us and the end result is a much better end product for the client. Many times for us, it is a bitter sweet time when the vows are over and we pack up and leave the reception because we may never see the couple again. There is a reciprocal connection between us and our clients. I know there is a connection when I look back at Jennifer during the vows and she is wiping a tear away. Why? Because we fell for the couple. Websites, Promotional material, DVD design, End product packaging are all very important but if you leave the sincere huaman element out, the experience is not maximized.

  3. Hi Ron. For us, the experience begins like many others, at the website portal and then should be reflected in how you package promotional material and to how the client receives the end product. We have clients that say they loved the video and they also loved the packaging. But setting the tangible things aside, it is so important to be able to meet with the client and to find out about them and let them know about you too. For us, its not always talking wedding related things but like Matt said, it is many times the beginning of a friendship. Our studio is located on the historic downtown of the town we live and on the square is a cool little wine bar called The Artist Vineyard. We like to meet at our studio and if they have time, we go have a glass of wine at the Vineyard. They will remember this and it is again, more face to face time so that there is a higher comfort level with us and the end result is a much better end product for the client. Many times for us, it is a bitter sweet time when the vows are over and we pack up and leave the reception because we may never see the couple again. There is a reciprocal connection between us and our clients. I know there is a connection when I look back at Jennifer during the vows and she is wiping a tear away. Why? Because we fell for the couple. Websites, Promotional material, DVD design, End product packaging are all very important but if you leave the sincere huaman element out, the experience is not maximized.

  4. Good point. But they still put your coffee in a paper TO-GO cup which ruins the whole experience and the whole point why you are there – sit and enjoy the coffee. Instead, they let you grab that cup of coffee and leave. I don’t get it – drinking $4 cup of coffee from a paper cup. Doesn’t it make you feel ripped off? Anyway, my point is – don’t provide the same “experience” to your clients. Everything suppose to be according to the money they spend.

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