Wednesday, October 29, 2014

How Important Is The Pickle?

It's the middle of the day, I'm hard at work emptying my email box, making great progress and my son, Ben, sends me a text.

"How important is the pickle"

I text back, "lol... I give. How important is the pickle?"

In three seconds that phone rings. It's Ben - he's laughing.

He asks me, "Do you know how important the pickle is?"

He can't see that I'm shaking my head at this nonsense, "So, tell me."

Ben precedes with a story. Apparently he has a favorite deli that he's been going to for years. He always orders the same sandwich, a club sandwich with mayo. And, according to Ben, it came with a big cold crisp - tart Claussen pickle.

Then, unbeknownst to Ben, the deli sold. So, Ben goes to the deli and he orders his favorite sandwich.

"Mom," he said. "It wasn't that they put mustard on the club instead of mayo and I can even live with the reduced meat, but it was the pickle. The pickle was warm, mushy and a darker color."

Ben asked the employee what happened to the pickle? The employee said, "Yeah, I don't like it either. The new owners are cutting costs."

"Don't they know how important the pickle IS!" Ben exclaimed.

I'm laughing at Ben's story as he continues.

"Then, I went back a few weeks later, thinking I'd give them another shot and what do you know, there was my big cold crisp Claussen pickle back. Sometimes the pickle makes the difference."

I love Ben's stories, they make my day. This one, about the pickle though, it really got me thinking.

Do I have something, a feature perhaps, that to clients could signify the "pickle" of my business? How important is this pickle? Do I even know what it is?

I might not own a deli, but like most businesses, there are unique features to our services. I would think that most businesses and industries have something that they offer that might be their equivalent of "the pickle."

As business owners, I think we need to be aware that everything counts. Before we make hasty changes to our "pickle", (whatever that might be), we should make sure that our customers won't leave because of it. How do we do that? A customer survey would certainly be a good idea or a beta test group before permanent changes are made.

Which leaves me with the question... yes, you know it's coming... How important is YOUR pickle?

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