In Business Development Strategy

Blankets. Doesn’t sound like much, right? Let me give it some context.

It’s a miserable day. Murky, turgid skies with rain clouds fighting over which can be first to dump freezing rain on my family and I. Some seaside day out this is. The kids are bored – they spent all their coppers in the arcade and the toy they won is already broken. So to brighten the mood and escape the impending shower we decide to treat ourselves to coffee and cake at The Tenth Hole.

No soul is brave enough to attempt the nine hole pitch and putt in this deluge but the tea room is warm, cosy and welcoming. There are even people sitting outside under the canopy enjoying tea or something nicer. It’s a typical tea room. Except for a few little thoughts that make it stand out from most businesses; tea rooms, coffee shops or otherwise.

There’s a good selection of hot drinks and the range of cake looks awesome. Almost too good to eat. But any decent tea room can do that.

It got me thinking, those people outside should be freezing, in fact, they wouldn’t even be sitting outside if it weren’t for the simple addition of colourful blankets available for customers, tied up with rope and neatly stacked on shelves for them to take to wrap around their shoulders or over their knees. In addition, all tucked up in a box mini hot water bottles sit waiting to be topped up on request to keep the weather creeping into your bones.

But that’s not all, atop of all the outside tables were recycled jars complete with flowers. OK, they were just dandelions but a splash of colour really adds a lot on a gloomy, wet afternoon. Talk about your extra mile.

According to my phone it’s 10 degrees although it feels more like five. It’s pouring with rain and this is a seaside resort in April, but I count at least 6 staff working and scarcely a table available. Maybe the cake really is that amazing or maybe it’s the lampshades made of teapots or obviously local photography that adorn the walls, but I doubt it.

Whilst many would say it’s the cake, I believe that it is those little touches that cost very little make a huge difference to customers and they keep them coming back for more – it’s a nice place to spend your money.

What little extras do you add to your business to make customers feel special?

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  • Sarah Matthews

    Going the extra mile is a natural way of life for those that do it. In the same way meanness and laziness are the preferred approach for others. Those that go the extra mile, and give before they take notice, it in others – people or businesses – and recommend them. It’s all part of being “exceptional.”

  • Mark Tillison

    Couldn’t agree more. Because it comes naturally, sometimes businesses (and people) don’t even know they’re being exceptional, so a reminder (like this) every now and again is required.

    Bravo to these guys. We’ll be visiting this Saturday tor Team Tillison fun – hopefully, blankets and hot water bottles will NOT be required!