Every Saturday morning my wife and I like to go out for a cup of coffee. We drive by 2-3 perfectly good Starbucks stores to the other end of town where our favorite mom and pop coffee shop resides. There is nothing fancy about this particular coffee shop, just a small house converted into a store with a few tables a couch and a bar loaded with old coffee and espresso machines. The coffee is about as good as what you would find at any other coffee shop but there is something a little different about this particular one. Every Saturday when we walk in their store we are greeted by name. The owner of the store comes around the counter shakes my hand, gives my wife a hug, smiles at our son and begins asking us about our week. As we follow him up to the counter to order some coffee and breakfast he grabs me the morning paper and ask one of the employees to clear off a table for us. All this service for about a $4.50 purchase, every Saturday morning. Yet, we keep coming back every Saturday and have been doing so for more than 3 years.

I think that this story is important because in today’s world we are all surrounded by hundreds if not thousands of different options. Buyers are better informed than ever before thanks to the sea of information the Internet provides. All things equal a cup of coffee is a cup of coffee…It is the experience that a customer has that makes them continue to do business with a particular company (or coffee shop, dealership, vendor, etc.). In sum, companies that go out of their way to create quality products and services and ensure the greatest possible experience for their customers will continue to thrive in any market.