Every Saturday without fail, I head off to our local farmers’ market. It is more than a shopping expedition, it has become a community experience, one that other business owners could learn from, particularly in terms of customer experience. Let me explain why.
1. The space is bright and airy, with daylight flooding in through the Plexiglas windows.
2. It is open for five hours, so it is never super-crowded, so you don’t have to fight your way around.
3. Parking is easy, nearby and free.
4. If you need help getting around, there are walkers to use (and return)
5. Shopping baskets on wheels are also available.
6. If you go on a regular basis, people get to know you and greet you by name.
7. The “vendors” are knowledgeable and can answer questions on the produce, how they grew it and how you can cook it.
8. Local musicians play each week, creating a wonderful ambiance. Sometimes it is a quartet, a fiddler or a guitarist, respectful of everyone’s musical tastes.
9. It’s not just farm produce on sale, but local crafters get a chance to showcase their wares.
10. There’s a charity table available and so each week a different non-profit gets to promote its organization.
11. If you buy something big, volunteers are there to help load it into your car.
12. In buying local, you are not only supporting local farmers, but you know what you are buying is fresh
13. There are picnic tables set aside so you can stop, have coffee and visit with friends and neighbours.
So yes, shopping may take a tad longer, but the market has become an important hub in our community, linking people and bringing them together to support each other. Isn’t that what it is all about?
When you look at your business, what could you do to encompass this sense of community? What changes could you make that would help accommodate your different customers.
When we put the needs of the customer first, then we are saying something important to them – you matter.