February 22, 2011

Repeat Business Happens When Repeat Service Does Too

13 months ago, I wrote this post about some great service that I received from the management and staff at Bar Louie in the Arena District of downtown Columbus.

That night I was with my daughter Riley to celebrate her 11th birthday with two of her best friends, Rachel and Lauren. We had a great time that night and became loyal clients of Bar Louie. We got to know Kelly Stein (the general manager) and Rich Folk (assistant general manager) and many of the awesome wait staff over the next year and there wasn't a Columbus Blue Jackets game that we attended when we first didn't visit Bar Louie beforehand for some pre-game food, drink and friendships.

For the last 13 months we have continued to enjoy our visits to Bar Louie. Kelly and Rich continue to make an effort to stop by our table to say hello and make sure all is well. The wait staff has changed but the service hasn't. Attentive, friendly and quick is a great asset for a restaurant food server...especially on a game night.

The service we got that first time made us consider going back the second time. The consistency of service is what continues to bring us back.

How's your service? How's your consistency?

It may be cliche in a service business like real estate ...or mortgage, title or any other type of buisness to consumer offering for that matter, but there's only "one chance to make a first impression." That's a great message to remember everytime you come in contact with a new customer or client. Who doesn't strive to create a 100% referral based business?

With that said, if you've done a good job, there should be another opportunity to get in front of that client in the futire. Depending on the business you're in, that cycle between purchases could be one week or one decade or somewhere in between.

Hopefully it comes through repeat and referral business. The question your client will ask themselves before they call or visit you again will be - "Can it be as good or better the next time as it was the last time?"

The Bar has Been Raised Again

Riley received tickets from her grandpa for tonight's game. It was her "birthday game" because I had to be out of town last month on the game closest to her 12th birthday. She once again invited her two friends, Rachel and Lauren, and we headed to Bar Louie before the Blue Jackets game versus the Nashville Predators.

We sat in the same spot and had great service from Shannon. The food was great, the atmostphere welcoming and both Kelly and Rich were working tonight so they each stopped by to say hello and wish Riley a "Happy Birthday."

As we awaited the check and we planning to head over to Nationwide Arena for the 7pm faceoff, the bar was raised. Out came the flaming desserts.

A trio of sweetness - Banana Creme Pudding (with Nilla wafers, thank you very much), a S'mores Sundae and a Carmel Brownie Deluxe - arrived compliments of the staff for Riley. They graciously brought three extra spoons so Rachel and Lauren and I felt like we had to help polish off the goodies.

It was awesome and it was unexpected...but then again, it wasn't unexpected. It's what we've come to expect the last 13 months.

Ask yourself these questions;

  • Is your service so good that people would be more surprised if they DIDN''T receive remarkable service?

  • Do you seek opportunities to "raise the bar" for your customers and clients?

  • Are you looking to create remarkable experiences for the people you serve, so they not only will return to you for help, but they will regularly refer others?

Imagine what would happen to your business if you did?

Until next time, keep building relationships, solving problems and having fun.

...Oh yeah - the Blue Jackets won 4-0