This post was originally published on AllBusiness.com.
In San Diego, there’s a taco shop on every corner—you think I’m exaggerating, but I’m not. And while every San Diegan has her go-to shop for the city’s famous fish tacos, most of the shops look the same:
- Bars on windows
- Bright colors
- Maybe a sombrero or sarape hanging on the wall
- Decor is background noise because you’re there for the food
But what if the decor was the experience? A recent visit to a unique taco shop got me thinking about the value of customer experience.
Where wrestling masks, tight pants, and burritos collide
There’s one taco shop in town (well, technically it has two locations) that stands out. It’s called Lucha Libre Gourmet Taco Shop. The food is good, but not out of this world.
What makes it unique is its decor. From the instant you walk in, you are jarred by the garish pink paint on the walls, a stark contrast from the Mexican wrestling theme. The many paintings and photos of luchadores throughout the restaurant entice you to gawk as you order a Tap Me Out Taco or maybe a Smackdown Quesadilla. The staff has a great sense of humor, too.
In the back of the dining room is a wrestling ring. Yes, a wrestling ring.
But it’s not for wrestling. You can reserve it on Lucha Libre’s website and have a good ole Instagramming time dressed up in full wrestler garb, if you so choose.
Did I mention this place is within walking distance of a couple dozen bars? It’s a bar-hopper’s dream come true: great food and lots to laugh at.
What is the value of customer experience that you create?
Clearly, my experience at Lucha Libre was memorable. The taco? Less so. But you can be sure that I snapped photos and tagged the business on Instagram, giving them free marketing.
It’s worth a think to consider how your customers experience your brand. In the example of a restaurant, do customers simply come in, eat, and then leave without remark? How can you create a memorable experience that’s like Lucha Libre’s?
Here’s a different example: There’s another restaurant (on the same street! Coincidence?) called Holy Matcha. First of all, what a great name. The menu is limited (not that much you can do with matcha), but the place looks like Instagram and Kate Spade had a baby … I mean, gorgeous. So any given day of the week, you see hipsters ‘Gramming that baby. It’s become a photo destination.
Yes, creating ambience and experience takes money and effort. But if you want people to keep coming back to your location—and telling their friends about it on social media—the investment into the value of customer experience is well worth it.
And experience isn’t limited to brick-and-mortar businesses. Let’s say you sell cat toys online. Your website is part of the customer experience. Make it fun. Maybe have a cartoon cat chasing a mouse across the screen, or fun language that makes people smile.
Another opportunity to create experience is when you ship products. Why not stuff a free catnip mouse in as a gift? Or maybe tear up the tissue paper you wrap the product with, along with a note that says, “Sorry about that! Seymour the office cat was so excited about this order that he wrapped it himself.”
Make people smile. Give them long-lasting memories. Create an experience around your brand.
Photos by Susan Guillory