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At least 23 years

Yes, you must have a good product! No argument there. And no argument either about the fact that a good product by itself is not enough. Today, a superb customer service is expected along with a great product. This combination of the two is the Experience today’s customers are seeking. Just imagine you can add some emotions to this experience. You know how you hear a song that reminds you a certain emotional experience from your childhood? Same concept. Take your customer through an emotional experience and they will remember you for a long time.

At least 23 years.

When I went to school in NY for my bachelor’s degree in Business/Marketing I was working as a tour guide. Leading a loaded bus from Manhattan up through the finger lakes region into Niagara Falls, then to Toronto, the Thousand Islands and back to NYC. Then to the nation’s capital for an additional 2 days tour of all the amazing monuments and memorials.

There were about 4 other companies in town offering the same tour and let me tell you - the product was GREAT!! Modular tour, you could choose to get on just the Niagara part or only the D.C option or the whole week experience. Inexpensive, fun and joyful. The customer service for the most part was also pretty good. A babysitting tour guide to be there every step of the way, a courteous bus driver, decent hotels and more.

We used to have a fierce non-written competition between us tour guides as to who knows more details about the different sites we would visit. One would say the CN tower is 523 meters high and the other would look it up and find in a different book (that’s right, this was pre-internet) that it is 525 meters high. A tour guide claims the fine for sailing down the Niagara Falls is $10,000 and another will correct him saying it is $12,500. If you survived it of course. That knowledge became our pride, but more so, we really believed that this excessive knowledge was the difference for the travelers.

A few weeks into the job, the company I worked for started getting calls from potential travelers asking to go on a trip but ONLY with “that tour guide called Alon”. Naturally I was flattered. On the next tour, one family admitted to the fact that they demanded to get on the bus with me. I asked in a very nonchalant way if those who referred them told them about my amazing knowledge.

They looked at each other oddly, turned to me and said:” WHAT? NO!! It is because of the dancing on the bus, the jokes, the caring and the way you treat your travelers – they had an amazing Experience”.

After that, if anyone would ask any detail about any monument, I would still know everything there is to know about it but would know that they are there for the Experience. They are there for the ride!

Cesare Pavese

A few weeks ago, I received a note through LinkedIn from someone who was on one of those buses with me back in the day. The note was emotional. Moving. Personal. The lady shared details about the trip she and her son had. They saw my name online and it immediately reminded them of those few days in North America. Needless to say - this was a super emotional hug for me.

So, whether you are selling clothes, fish, software, hardware or just services make sure you have a great product and an amazing customer service so when you bundle it together it produces an unbelievable experience. This is what your customer wants. This is what we all want. And this is how they will remember you. I guarantee you that YOUR experience will be different as well.

Of course, I replied to her. I smiled while writing back. She responded within 2 minutes. I asked her how long ago it’s been. And she replied it has been….23 years.

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