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Purposeful Attention to the Customer

FalconsGreat companies make their customers feel great. Most companies, however, make their customers grit their teeth.

While they won't open at home this Sunday, the Atlanta Falcons are poised to delight their fans next weekend with something more than just a championship-calibre team and a brand new stadium. Fans will also find $2 sodas, $2 hot dogs and $5 beers.

Those aren't typos. Those are a purposefully thoughtful move on the part of really smart managers to remove as many irritants from the customer experience as possible (see the Skift interview here with Falcons' CEO Rick McKay). And, being gouged for $8 hot dogs and $12 beers is one of the biggest turn-offs for fans who have already paid a shit-ton for tickets to see grown men risk brain injury.

Will they make it up in volume and increased merchandise sales? Maybe...but that wasn't why the Falcons (who could have been expected to have the highest concession prices to help offset the costs of the new stadium) did it. They did it because they don't want fans gritting their teeth on the way home. They did it because they want their fans to love them even more than they already do.

Pivot to Wisconsin's new Sand Valley Golf Resort, featuring a physical plant so stunningly beautiful that this non-golfer might just take up the game. Like NFL game tickets, it certainly ain't cheap to play Sand Valley. And, the rooms at the Lodge aren't either. But, food prices at the concession stand and the on-site restaurant are beyond reasonable. Maybe even a bit lower than one would expect.

The GM there told me during my tour there a few weeks ago that this, too, was a thoughtful decision on the part of ownership and management. And, they've been getting compliments all summer on the level of customer care their golfers are getting...well beyond the opportunity to play one of America's truly great new courses.

It's something we all need to consider in our businesses...or as DMOs advise their partners: Are the few extra dollars we can extract from a price weary consumer worth their possible reaction to choose some other experience next time?


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Bill Geist

Bill GeistBill Geist

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