“I’ll Ask You More Questions Next Time” – How a coffee shop hooked me in

May 18, 2011 at 10:20 am Leave a comment

Those of you who know me, know I’m a very loyal fan of a certain Midwest-based coffee shop chain. This chain does not have a location in my downtown area, so I occasionally find myself visiting another chain (no, not  *that* one. Well, sometimes).

I visited on Monday and made a purchase. As I usually do, I engaged in some discussion and banter with the folks behind the counter. I left, thinking nothing more of the encounter than just another retail transaction.

I returned today (Wednesday) and made another purchase. At the register, the guy said, “hey, you’re the business professor, right?” remembering our conversation from Monday. I was pleasantly surprised that he remembered, and we started talking about the summer. I mentioned I was planning to go backpacking and he said “I’ve been thinking about getting into that this summer.” I gave him some tips on a local place to go, and a book to read. As I was leaving, I said “good luck on your trip!” and he said, “oh, I have a lot more questions — I’ll definitely ask you next time!”

Immediately, I thought — “I have to come back here.” Now I have a connection, and an obligation (or something just short of an obligation) to help this person. Now this coffee shop isn’t just one conveniently located — it’s one where there is someone I know, who expects me to return, and provide him with information.

Ingenious. My gut feeling is that this is intentional, a marketing move. I feel a loyalty to this shop that I didn’t feel before — in just an instant’s worth of conversation.

How can you use conversation and connection in your business to build loyalty?

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Entry filed under: Etc..

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