On Saturday night I attended an event hosted by a London based rapper called Ty, and his collaborators The Handson Family. He is well known on the independent music scene as well as across Europe and internationally. They run an event called “No Long Ting” – a statement made in various contexts in London and Caribbean vernacular. None of this is the actual point of this blog though – just a bit of colourful background.
I had a wonderful time on the night. It was full of great people, friendly faces and DJs that I know and admire. DJing is a passion that people have that brings intense levels of enjoyment whilst doing it. The joy of playing music you love, to a crowd of people visibly and viscerally loving what you’re doing at the exact same moment as you’re doing it. Deferred gratification it isn’t. It’s different to a chef or a painter as the customer and the service provider feel the enjoyment at the same time. I’d never thought of that until I started writing this…That’s not the point of this blog either but it’s an interesting point nonetheless!
What struck me and inspired this week’s blog was the statement that was made a few times on the night “If you thought you would come here and hear the same music every time, you’re in the wrong place!” No Long Ting happens a few times a year, so I understood the context of the comment. It was only afterwards, at home, drinking a cocoa, that I thought about what that statement meant and how it relates to business.
When we are delivering a service to our customers, whether we are entertainers, party hosts, workshop facilitators, graphic designers, tailors, gardeners and any number of others, we ought to take a similar approach to no repetition. Let me be clear though: consistent quality in delivery of our service is of utmost importance, every time. Developing an understanding of what our customers would like to see, have or be moved by is a crucial part of our role as business owners. However, it is also our duty to keep things fresh, to innovate and create new experiences for our customers. Business is about experiences – solving problems and making sure that we meet our customers’ and clients’ needs in a way that will inspire them to come back to us whenever they require that product or service again. It’s not saying that every time you deliver you deliver something different as that doesn’t work for all services, but the core concept is one I co-sign. Be creative, offer the “what” you do in ways that are inspiring to your customers.
By saying that “You will always hear different music when you come to No Long Ting!” the event created a high level of expectation in those that shared the dance floor. Those that didn’t make it that night, heard about how good it was and will likely try to ensure their attendance next time it happens. Our businesses should be like this too. Our greatest marketing tools are our customer ambassadors – those people that tell their friends and family how good we are. The enthusiasm, passion and interest they show when speaking about your business can’t be valued, and we should always be working hard to get that positive response from them.
“Always hear different music when you come to this event!” In relating this to business, it reminded me of innovation. New music, new remixes, unexpected mixing of tracks, different genres – this is how we should approach what we do. Are you delivering the same information in the same way you always have? Offering the same product to all of your customers regardless of their different challenges? Are you working hard to “move me” with your creativity and by offering solutions that meet my specific needs? Like the party on Saturday night, I should be encountering your business and feeling like you have made an effort for me as your customer. I should feel like you’ve thought about what you are going to do for me, and that I and my enjoyment and customer satisfaction matter to you.
It can be useful to do an audit of your business and ask yourselves these questions. Explore where you can be creative and innovate. Ensure consistent quality in everything you do, and give your customers a great experience.