Creating The Experience

Are they buying a product, service, or … an experience?

Clyde's Tower Oaks Lodge, RockvilleThis Rockville, Md. restaurant is busy … even on the “slowest” night of the week

I’ve lived in the same area for nearly 38 years and had never known about a particular road in Rockville until Clyde’s Tower Oaks Lodge opened up. It’s completely off the beaten path and although located among office buildings, feels like a ski lodge tucked away in a vacation hotspot. The entrance to the property – a beautiful custom designed wooden archway that guides you onto the year-round porch from the complimentary valet parking stop – sets the tone. The well-manicured grounds are home to a pond complete with waterfall and misty fog. To enter the restaurant’s grand lobby, you pull on a custom-carved tree branch door handle. Opening off the lobby are several dining rooms and two spacious bars. This place has it all – consistently great food, knowledgeable service and a friendly atmosphere. The staff here truly creates a memorable experience; and the restaurant is always busy – even on Monday nights!

But you don’t have to spend millions of dollars, like the owners of Clyde’s have, to create a unique customer experience. Take, for example, [Read more…]

We Felt Like We Were Interrupting Her Personal Life

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Meet The Parents, Universal Studios and DreamWorks

Meet The Parents, Universal Studios and DreamWorks (CLICK to WATCH (1:41))

We stood there, dumbfounded…
Recently, while attempting to make an airline connection in Brazil, my girlfriend (Maggie) and I took our paper tickets to the counter to get our seat assignments. As we approached the desk, the clerk, “Mariana” had her head down and was carrying on about her weekend to the person on the other end of the phone. When she finally looked up, we were greeted with a half-smile (no words – she still had the phone held against her ear). For the next 31 minutes (we timed it), Mariana continued with her personal phone conversation and occasionally pecked at the computer keyboard, never really telling us what she was doing. Maggie and I just kept looking at each other, as if to say, “I can’t believe this is actually happening.” We felt like we were interrupting her personal life.

You might be thinking, “But Steve, why would you put up with such behavior for 31 minutes? Why didn’t you say something?” [Read more…]