What’s your story? We all have one. Most likely we have more than one.
That means your customers or guests do too. When someone chooses your business, they have a story. They may tell it to you, and they may keep it to themselves. But they have one, and while you don’t have to know what it is, you do need to know they have one. And the moment they choose to give you their money, you become part of their story. I find it very healthy to look at it this way.
Now that you know this, how will your next customer interaction be different? Knowing they are patronizing your business as part of their story can make you more prepared for giving them what they need. The simplest of purchases has a story behind it, and if you know it, your chances of turning a transaction in to a CONNECTION is greatly increased. If someone shares their story, you can help the story unfold by how you connect with them. Isn’t looking at it this way more fun?
NO purchase does not have a story. With that being said, realize the story is not always an exciting or happy one. But there is a story there, and the more effort you make to uncover that story (within reason and privacy laws) the more of an impression you make with your customers. Some of them will want you to know their story. When they do, listen. They not only gave you their trust when they patronized our business, they gave you their trust in when they decided to tell you. If you look at that action with reverence, you will see that someone has invited YOU in to their story. Cherish that, and help them live it.
I work in a place where I have the time and opportunities to hear people’s stories. Most seem to like telling them, and I enjoy listening to them, not because I am paid to, but because I care about other people. You do, as well, and listening will tell them that. Kids really love telling you stuff. Listen to every word. They appreciate it, and so do their parents. Your guests will forget a mundane purchase shortly after they make it. If you take part in the story, they bring to you, they will NOT forget it, and they will return, as well as sharing their stories with others.
What is your story? I realize we don’t have time for the details, but my point is, what makes you what you are today? Victories, failures, love, hate, and everything in between. You have it. And so does your customer. You don’t need to know their story, but you do need to know they are motivated by many of the same things that you are, and when they come through your door, remember that. They have passions and insecurities, like you. They have found and lost things, like you. They want to feel relevant and good about themselves, just like you.
Can you help them do that? Of course, you can.