Becoming a regular

10/25/2012

I’m always on the lookout for my next favorite business. It can be a cafe or a taco stand or an online retailer, what matters is the experience. And when I find it, I tell everyone I know.

My friend Justin does this with products and software, and I’ve spent more money than I care to think about investing in his suggestions. Why?

Because he’s a tastemaker. Because I trust his opinion. Because he does the hard work of being more obsessive and neurotic than I could ever hope to be about the smallest details.

Online
The Internet presents many opportunities for businesses to succeed and fail at delighting many customers, very quickly. If a form on your site is broken or there’s a typo in your sales copy and your site sees 300 visitors before you realize it (you’re not using chartbeat or clicky?), you might have lost that business forever.

Offline
If the maĆ®tre d’ at a nice restaurant delights or disappoints customers during every shift, it’s likely to reach the ears of management in short order. I always try to respond candidly (not rudely) to management when they inquire about my experience at a restaurant, and I will go out of my way to brag on a wonderful employee.

The nothingness that is average
No one talks about average. Run of the mill (mildly annoying, slow, complicated, and confusing) online transactions are all lumped into the unremarkable pile alongside the others.

And a restaurant filled with employees who punch out the second their shift is up is unlikely to become a destination for men looking for a great place to pop the question.

What makes you special?
Does your site have the user experience of an Everlane?

Does your product become invisible but instantly invaluable like Dropbox?

Do people find you mesmerizing and discuss it in your absence years later?

Are you known for being consistent?

It’s gotta be something.