Meet the Customer Where They’re at
Most of us have heard this saying in recent years… how we should try to do a better job of “meeting the customer where they’re at.” My leadership style is generally to take complex leadership principles and look for ways to simplify them for others to more quickly understand. My book is a collection of business and leadership practices broken down into real-life, relatable stories that help others gain a much better understanding of what those practices look like in real life.
So, what does it mean in REAL LIFE to meet your customers where they’re at?
Let me tell you! I attended a high-school football game last night in East Hanover, NJ. (they defeated us, but I digress) Now, I’ve attended many high-school football games over the past three years as my daughter is on the varsity cheerleading team. Throughout those three years, anytime me or my wife were hungry or thirsty, we’d have to take the infinitely long walk from the visitor’s bleachers all the way over to the Concession Stand or Snack Pavilion, only to find ourselves standing in line behind thirty teenagers who can’t make up their mind on which flavor of Gatorade they want to purchase.
This game was different. At this game, while watching the game and enjoying the beautiful fall weather, a group of East Hanover students made the long hike over to the visitor’s bleachers carrying aluminum trays of hot-dogs, burgers, and popcorn wrapped in foil. They walked up and down the bleachers “meeting the customer where we wanted to be met!”
I watched these kids run out of food, walk back, restock, and then attack the bleachers over and over several times throughout the night. They were selling more food than I’ve seen at any other high-school event.
At the end of the game, they even dropped their prices and met us as we all made our way to the parking lot, trying to squeeze in one last sale for the night.
This was probably the best illustration of what it means to MEET THE CUSTOMER WHERE THEY WANT TO BE MET. They were not intrusive or rude. They were not applying too much pressure. But they kept the crowd fed, hydrated, and comfortable because we didn’t have to miss 45 minutes of the game while waiting in line. They brought the goods to us so we could stay focused on the game.
Are you letting your customers stay focused on what matters most to them? Or are you expecting them to go out of their way to find you?
Meet the customer where they’re at!