Here’s a hot marketing tip, straight out of the microwave…
I took a client to a Chiyo Sushi the other day. I arrived first and my mind was still racing from the crazy hectic pace of a normal morning. I’m thinking of all the things that need to be done as I check my phone to see emails continuing to pile on and have no respect for my overcrowded day. I pick one message and make a valiant effort to eliminate something off my list of things to do. Of course my thumbs could not move fast enough and the effort was thwarted when my client walked through the door. As the conversation started I kept thinking back and wondering if she would understand my need to finish this world-changing extremely important message.
Then, seemingly out of nowhere, the universe sent a messenger in a kimono.
In front of me the waitress placed a plate with a Hot Towel!!! She didn’t have to of course, I could have had my sushi, a conversation with a client and been on my way. That’s what most restaurants do. With this small act, she decided to take this lunch experience to the next level.
On the surface this Hot Towel may not seem like a big deal. But I want you to think about it for a second; there are very few simple pleasures that equal the Hot Towel. Walking in the grass with you shoes off is nice, but there is the possibility your feet might get wet or dirty, thus making the end of the experience a downer. This is not the case however with the Hot Towel. The Hot Towel immediately changes the way you feel about what’s going on around you. Just grabbing it, holding it, feeling it in your palms, between your fingers, then the cool sensation on your hands when you set it down. For the record, I did resist the temptation to take this mid-day vacation to the next level by going for the face cleanse. I was with a client after all, and some decorum needs to be observed. By the time I received an impatient look from the thoughtful waitress that suggested it was time to return the towel, my day was transformed. The mission of the Hot Towel was was a success. I had completely shifted gears and was completely engaged in the moment.
Since that moment, I have begun to wonder why all restaurants don’t provide Hot Towels. I can promise you I am not the only one that feels this way. I always make a point of watching the face of my lunch partner whenever a towel arrives. I’m pretty in tune with body language and trust me I’m on to something. For the cost of a few packs of towels and a microwave, you can change your restaurant from a place to eat lunch to a place to enjoy a meal.
So what’s the point of it all? Why am I rambling about a Hot Towel? Well first because Hot Towels are awesome and can change the way you feel about the day. But more importantly because it was a small gesture that makes such a big impact. Think about why you frequent certain businesses or continually use certain sales people. Many times it’s because of the little things. It’s these little things (or Hot Towels as I like to call them) that can set you and / or your business apart. It’s the card saying “Thank Your For The Business”, it’s the follow-up call asking if you are happy with your service, it’s your sales person calling when there is nothing to sell just to check in, it’s the text outside of business hours to let you know they are thinking of you. It doesn’t take a lot, sometimes it’s as simple a trip to the microwave.
And a special note to the only person I have specifically sought out to cut my hair again and again; Thanks for the extra hot towels Kat. I’ll be calling for an appointment soon. (side note: because great service should be passed on – Kat Paskawitz at FX Studios she’s the best.)