Are We Stopping at “My Stop”?
Imagine you are one three gas stations off the freeway in a remote location. Your business success depends on what percentage of cars stop & choose you and giving them a reason to buy more than just gas. Instead of leaving it to chance, why not create a compelling reason for your business to be “My Stop” for every car on the freeway.
Start by putting yourself in the position of families in cars driving by. Know and feel their needs. You may realize that the average car drives nearly 100 plus miles before coming to your exit and travels another 100 miles after leaving.
Here are a few things you can consider:
- Mini dog park: Small wire-fenced areas where a pet can be without a leash, run around, and enjoy fresh water. Maybe even a free small treat for every dog.
- All-weather picnic tables: A place for family members to gather around, enjoy a snack or meal, and share smiles. They were all packed in the car seeing the ‘sides’ or ‘back of the heads’ of each other. For a change, they can enjoy time facing each other.
- Lighted walking track and stretching stations: Add a 200-meter walking track with multiple locations for stretching, giving people a chance to get a little active.
- Updated traffic and weather information: On a simple whiteboard add local weather and traffic information to make drivers leave assured knowing what is ahead.
- Leave with a smile: Everyone leaves with a gift. The gift can be a local candy or a mini artifact, something that makes them realize that they made a friend at the gas station.
There are numerous other things you can do. Each of these actions individually and together make the family members feel, “so glad we stopped here.”
The Power of Being “My Stop”
When customers use the word ‘MY’ to describe your business, you have arrived. You are now in the vocabulary of your customers and now, they find reasons why they see themselves in your business. Once that happens you become the preferred option for that ‘customer need’ and that will result in positive word of mouth and incremental sales.
So, what will make your customers feel that you are their “my stop”. Here are some examples from the customer standpoint:
- For a shipping service, all you have to do is call them from the parking lot. They walk to your car, take the package and the address. They go in, finalize the shipping details, text you the details, and you approve. You leave with a smile as you did not have to even get out of the car. It is now ‘your shipping store’ and becomes the only place you take your packages to ship.
- For a local breakfast restaurant, you walk in and someone greets you by name. Once you are seated, the server smiles and asks you: “Joe, will it be your regular for you to start with? Arnold Palmer with less ice? And a burrito with eggs and sausage, with no potatoes, no cheese, and green chili on the side?” You smile and say yes. It is your breakfast stop now and you cannot even think of going anywhere else.
Steps to Earn Your “My Stop” Status in Your Customers’ Mind
- BE THE CUSTOMER: Start by putting yourself in the position of the customer. Do the 100-mile drive and pull into your gas station. Recreate the journey of your customers before they walk in.
- FEEL WHAT THE CUSTOMERS FEEL: Feel every small feeling the customer feels; complete every “I wish…” thought the customers may have.
- CREATE MOMENTS THAT RESONATE: Think what more you can offer that will make them feel “How did they know I needed that”. That will result in a positive aftertaste in the mind of the customer miles after they leave you.
All these will help your brand connect with customers at a human level and get you a smile and spontaneous response: “You did not have to do that!” Once customers say that, you will feel the “Customer Said Yes” moment and know that you have really connected with the customer. They will talk about you, and they will want to be back.