Sunday, January 28, 2007

 

Happy Customers = Buzz, Beautiful Buzz

Last night my wife and I ate at Mama Lucia's, a fantastic Italian restaurant near downtown Kirkland, Washington. We eat there all the time - it has great food, a fun menu, good wine, good prices, and great service.

Last night we were seated at a table that wobbled, so we asked the waitress if they had a shim. We didn't need to be reseated, we just wanted to help fix the problem.

The manager came over and asked if we wanted a different table. Turns out, they had a larger party they wanted to seat at our table anyway, plus they wanted to fix the wobbly table and get us somewhere more stable.

The manager offered a free dessert for moving. We thanked her, but said it really wasn't necessary.

At the end of our dinner, the manager reappeared and asked what dessert we wanted. My wife chose a slice of cheesecake, and I also ordered an espresso.

When the bill came, I was surprised to see that they had comped us for both the dessert and the espresso. When I flagged down the manager and asked to pay for the espresso, she said absolutely not.

Successful, buzzworthy businesses know that little things can go a long way. Mama Lucia's might not have thought I'd blog to the world about their fantastic little restaurant, but I'm sure they knew they were creating a noteworthy experience - something that was likely to convert into at least a few repeat visits, and probably a little word-of-mouth to family and friends.

So, what's your espresso? What are you doing to let your customers know they're priority number-one? Big initiatives are great, but the little things can often have the same noteworthy, buzzworthy effect.

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