We hear this all the time: “People are more willing to share negative experiences than they are willing to share positive ones.”
I challenge that statement because it simply is NOT true.
People are not more apt to share negative experiences; people are more apt to share REMARKABLE experiences.
I was out in Pennsylvania for a speaking engagement. I was hungry so I went out to dinner at one of the local restaurants (which was decently rated on Yelp!). I walked in and was greeted politely at the door. The hostess walked me to my table and I sat comfortably waiting for my waitress. She approached and introduced herself – very friendly! I carried on with my meal. My waitress stopped in to check on me throughout the meal. I finished eating, paid the bill, and left.
Does that sound like a great restaurant? Sure. But does it sound remarkable? Nope. I didn’t walk out of there and tell the world about the amazing experience. I didn’t rave about the food or the waitress or the atmosphere or anything. I literally didn’t tell a single person that I even went to the restaurant that night (until I started writing this post).
My experience was great. Period.
The problem is, people don’t share “great”. People share “remarkable”!
Remarkable can be good and remarkable can be bad. The problem with most businesses is they aim for “good” or “great” yet people begin to share an experience when it reaches the level of remarkable. In these situations, if a business is only striving for “good” or “great” the only type of remarkable experience that can be made is a remarkably bad experience.
I have an employee who bought a new car last week. He walked onto the lot at a car dealership in Fort Wayne. He found the car that fit his needs. He test-drove the car. The salesman was friendly and honest. He made the decision to purchase the car. After the paperwork was completed he drove the car off the lot – Immediately the “Check Engine Light” came on. Uh oh….
So he called the salesman (who was behind him pulling out of the lot). The salesman told him to check the gas cap and drive down the road a bit to see if it would turn off. Nothing happened.
This is where the story has an opportunity to become remarkable! (Good or bad)
Unfortunately the story turns remarkably bad. He calls again. No answer. He calls again. Gets placed on hold until he’s forced to hang up and call again. He finally talks to someone and gets “Not our fault. You drove it off the lot”….He went round and round and round with everyone, yet nothing. Hang-ups, dropped calls, no one calling back, lots of “no’s”.
Guess what he did? He told EVERYONE!!!! Because this was REMARKABLY BAD.
This dealership had the opportunity to create a remarkable experience, but somewhere in the company culture “remarkable” was not emphasized. They were settling for normal. As a business owner do you want your business to be “normal”?
If you’re from Fort Wayne, you may know the Deer Park Irish Pub. Deer Park is owned by Tony Henry. This is a remarkable story:
I was sitting in the pub last year with Tony and his wife. Tony sees a guy walk in the door and gets up to greet him. He chats with the man for a few minutes then puts his arm around him and walks him to our table.
“Andrew, this is Joe! Joe is new to our community. He just started working in Fort Wayne yesterday and his family is relocating here next week. I want you to meet my new friend!”
We have a conversation. Tony buys a round of beers. Next thing you know Tony is on stage and on the microphone!!! He says “attention everyone! I want to interrupt you for one moment. This is Joe. Joe just moved to Fort Wayne (and he continues telling Joe’s story)” He then says “Let’s get three ‘Hip Hip Hoorays’ for Joe!” and the bar joins in. Then he proceeds to say “I want everyone to walk up here and introduce himself or herself to our new friend Joe! Come on now. Don’t be shy!”
Wow. That experience for Joe was REMARKABLE. If you know Tony Henry, you know that he doesn’t remember this story at all because he does this type of thing all the time. He creates remarkable experiences every day for his customers – and in turn he has some of the most loyal customers around!
A business that states, “people only share their negative experiences” needs to reevaluate their customer service/marketing/sales process and identify areas where they can create remarkable experiences for their customers.
Remember, people LOVE to talk. They will tell everyone they know about remarkable experiences. For good or for bad, social media allows them to tell more people than just the people they know. Social media allows them to tell hundreds, thousands, and even millions of people.
As a business, the opportunity to be AMAZING is there…it’s up to you to find it.
BE REMARKABLE, OR BE IGNORED
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