By, Jewels Muller
Imagine for a moment that your business gave weekly tours to visitors. What key elements would you include on your tour? We have been traveling full-time with our twin boys for over 5 years now, and we love finding businesses that will let us tour their companies. Such establishments like; Zappos in Las Vegas, Infusionsoft in Arizona, Corvette in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and Buck Knives in Post Falls, ID.
I am always thrilled when tour day comes because I have such a heart for innovation and entrepreneurship. I want to know WHY it started and HOW they did it. We toured Buck Knives today.
Think back to the initial question, what key elements would you include on your tour?
Let me point out some of the memorable moments from the tour today and keep these ideas filed away for your own business.
• The tour was advertised with a rack card at the RV park
• The tour was free and it listed the number to phone to reserve your spot
• When making the reservation you speak to a real person who also lets you know the rules of closed toed shoes and arriving 15 minutes early
• She warned us of traffic delays due to construction and let us know she would be excited to see us
• The outside was beautifully landscaped and we stopped to take a picture of the boys by the sign
• We walked through the double doors and saw some examples of taxidermy and a beautiful antler chandelier
• We were greeted by a friendly woman who told us to go back to the store to wait for the tour
• We were welcomed again, asked to read and sign the waivers, and put on our badges
Off to the side of the store was an open door to a cafeteria, we went in and sat at a table waiting for the tour to begin. This is where the disconnect occurred. It looked as though the floor hadn’t been swept in a week or so. It was completely out of character from what we had experienced so far. (This is a reminder to follow the experience through as a customer. What are they seeing?) Maybe we weren’t supposed to be in there or maybe they just had a messy eater at that table, but in either case, we saw it and had a reaction to it. Another question to ask yourself as a business owner is, how are your potential clients feeling and what are they experiencing in your presence or with your product or service?
Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and kept the flow moving while stressing the importance of safety. She told the story of how it began, and what we would be seeing on the manufacturing floor. We went in with protective eye gear, earplugs, and a listening device so we could hear our tour guide. She talked about the materials that make the blade and the handle. She showed us where the custom knives were made and how they can produce up to 1.5 million knives per year with the systems they have in place.
Another aspect of this business made a big impression on me. They warranty their products for life. She showed us a knife that was in a fire, one that had been used to start a car when the vehicle owner lost his keys, and another one where the owner tried to weld on the tip that he had broken off. She explained that each of these knives were replaced for free and if the non-working knife was sentimental, they would send it back with the new one. What type of warranty program do you have for your products and services?
Take a moment and jot down what the tour of your business would include. Walk your potential customer through the history, the offerings, the value and what the future holds for your company. These tours may be in person or could easily be a tour that you share online via video. Get creative. Take action. Invite others into your business by sharing your story!