Gumba’s knows the personal touch makes a difference

by Stan Phelps

in purple goldfish project

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Know Your Customers

#336 in the Project comes from Marty Desmond.  Marty left a comment on Kelly Ketelboeter’s post, ‘What is Your Purple Goldfish’

Gumba’s on Murphy Street in Sunnyvale, CA

“I went for breakfast, with friends, at one of our favorite places Saturday. We sat outdoors for the first time since street construction began months ago. As we were served, I watched how much fun the employees were having. I told my friends that it was great seeing the restaurant busy again and that I knew the construction hurt much of the business on that block.

gumba's sunnyvaleI went back Tuesday evening for a quick dinner. As I was eating, the owner came up, patted me on the back and thanked me for my business Saturday morning. Then, he told me how happy he was to see my friends and inquired about them. He asked if the dad had found another job, knowing that he was laid off months ago.

We talked for a few moments more, and then he patted me on the back again, thanked me once more and walked off. I watched him walk away and thought about why I enjoyed that restaurant so much. The food is great, but it’s the experience that makes it worth going back.

I realize that no fewer than 4 of his employees approached my friend to tell them how much they had missed his family. The culture of that business includes personal relationships whenever possible. I think that is a missing ingredient in so many businesses today.

This restaurant has endured 6 months of lagging sales, due to people wanting to stay away during construction. Yet, they were genuinely concerned about the lives of the people who walked through their doors. To me, every question of “how is your friend” is a purple goldfish.”

Today’s Lagniappe (a little something extra) – Gumba’s is an Italian restaurant.  Here is a classic from William Martin Joel:

Lagniappe defined: A marketing lagniappe, i.e. purple goldfish,  is any time a business goes above and beyond to provide a ‘little something extra’. It’s that unexpected surprise that’s thrown in for good measure.

How do you stand out in the sea of sameness? How do you win repeat customers and influence word of mouth?  Are you Giving Little Unexpected Extras?

What’s Your GLUE?

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