Experiential Customer Environments

  • I can’t believe I never joined this group earlier! After all, when it comes to businesses my favorite part to manage and talk about is how we make customers comfortable and happy when they shop with us 🙂 That’s what keeps them coming back after all!

  • Ever realize how theme parks make such great environments? You spend money just to be there like it’s an exclusive club. I think banks can do the same and make it feel like you really are a part of something special, like by net worth or income maybe. You can make the bank nicer with artwork and furniture to make it seem upscale. Maybe that can…[Read more]

    • I believe that this works because theme parks play on the concept of selling an experience and activities that go along with it. On the other hand, banks and financial institutions sell products and services directly associated with their trade – money. These are things that are maintained over long periods of time, and thus cannot necessarily be…[Read more]

      • Obviously I replied to the wrong post, but anyways, I don’t really think that it’s worth the investment. It’s a big charge just to make things a little nicer and maybe bring in new people. Personally, I wouldn’t see it as worth the expense or risk of implementation.

        • There are always situations where it may be more expensive to actually implement a new concept. However, if you can weigh out the costs and benefits then you can evaluate whether or not it is worth the risk. In this case, I agree that there is quite a bit on the line in terms of money that probably would not be worth it in most cases. I still…[Read more]

    • While I do agree that this is a novel way to attract customers, I must concur with James and point out that this is a strategy that has a great deal of upfront investment that may not generate a sufficient return. Physical presence for a business, while an important representation of the culture and face of the company, is an aspect of traditional…[Read more]

      • So are you saying that it wouldn’t ever work for businesses to grow by making their stores more attractive? I was thinking it would be the same as a regular remodel.

        • There is potential that this will have a positive impact upon the business, but that impact is marginal compared to other methods that can be used. For the banking industry, it may be more worthwhile to invest in talent, personnel, and services. However, a traditional remodel can be effective, it just may have limited success.

    • Great idea, and while we’re at it we might as well hand them free products and services as well. Really, who would spend all that money to build up a nice bank when your customers don’t even come in the doors? The issue isn’t making the place nicer so that people come in – it’s about giving them a reason for them to be there in the first place. If…[Read more]

      • Same as what I said above, I don’t get how it wouldn’t work. People would go see places that are new or interesting because it will catch their eye. I was thinking it would be the same sort of deal and people would come to the bank looking to see what’s new, then being sold on new products.

    • Not undermining you or anything, but I don’t think it can work that way. You go to a theme park because you want to be in that setting. A bank? You go there to do your business and then be done with it. You can make an atmosphere, but it’s like making a bathroom fancy. Yeah, it’s nice at first, but I think the appeal wears off over time. It’ll…[Read more]

  • I want to share an experience I had with a themed store here in Las Vegas. Recently, I visited the aptly named Zombie Apocalypse Store that is just off of the Strip, and I have to say that it did have some interesting points that would help with improving a regular business’s model and environment. The service and actual business were somewhat…[Read more]

    • Aaron replied 5 years ago

      And how do you think a “zombie” shop is a good model for a bank? It makes no sense that we should take a tip from some retail store that bets on gimmicks instead of actual advantages. Who cares about some store that has to stay in business by using fads and tricks. That won’t work for a regular business

    • I’m still iffy on if this is something we would want to see for financial services though. Do you want a safari jungle themed bank? Would it make it much better? Aaron has a good point here. I want my bank to just be a bank, and how I think of a bank is how banks are right now. Maybe they can be better, but nothing wrong with it now

    • I don’t like forcing the bank to be something it’s not. It’s not a place for you to see everything that’s going on. It’s for security purposes. I’d say if you want to make the bank better, make it visually match a theme. Like a bank that would cater to high class would have classy art and all that jazz. Something more middle road would have…[Read more]

  • So what would be a good experiential environment? Like, what would be an example of one? I want to have an idea of a model to follow if I try to come up with new ideas.

    • This is not one that I believe you will be able to gain a great deal of insight from, but I recently was at Six Flags and was pleasantly surprised by how well they were able to create this experience of being in a different themed area. In particular, I am speaking of Camp Snoopy. In addition to the rides (in this case, their services), they…[Read more]

      • You know, it doesn’t really make that much sense for the banking industry but I get the idea with what you’re talking about. In the end, we just want to immerse the customer and them to feel like they are actually part of the world we make. So, banking is profession, amusement park is childish.

        • That is the main goal. We want to be able to create a situation where we become immersed in the environment. This allows us to fully enjoy and feel what it is that we are experiencing. Rather than engaging a single sense, we are unconsciously feeling every single aspect of our environment.

    • An environment that I fondly remember is reminiscent of a museum – constantly changing but consistently flawless in presentation. There was a real estate office that I used when I purchased my first home that captured the idea of an experiential customer environment. It was similar to an Ikea in the way that their areas were furnished, but these…[Read more]

  • So I saw this article today and was thinking about how we talk about customer experience. Do we really have the chance to change someone’s experience or is it just meeting their expectations? I was getting around to the idea of us actually having that sort of influence, but this makes it seem like we are still far behind in that…[Read more]

    • Good thing I check this group daily for updates 🙂 I read the article and I think it’s fantastic! We do change experiences and make people happy. That’s why it works, you know 😉 It’s us making customer experience better

    • I wanna point out that expectations are part of the experience too! Who’s ever gone anywhere without expectations? No one, that’s who! 🙂 And its our job to make sure that those expectations are beat every time. That’s how we get loyal customers! 😀

    • I don’t get why you think meeting expectations is suddenly some sort of experiential thing. If you don’t make customers happy then you don’t stay in business, that’s that. Expectations are what you are trying to meet in the first place. This isn’t anything new. Meeting someone’s expectations isn’t suddenly a new experience. It’s expected.

      • The experiential aspect is not simply meeting the customer’s expectations – it is the process in which it occurs as well as how the customer’s expectations are exceeded. I believe it is important to note that in any business the customer’s expectations are the main measurement of whether or not the job or product was successful. While, yes, any…[Read more]

        • I understand it, but how do we apply it to the financial services industry? I’m not one to be going around making sandwiches with my clients. But I’m not about to show them the ins and outs of my business. We can’t just hold their hand and walk them through the process of managing their wealth, so how do we make it experiential?

          • The reason no one answered yet is because you can’t. You just can’t. Some things work out for some businesses, but for us there are limits. None of these guys get it and they’ll try to make it happen, but I don’t see that plan working anytime soon.

    • If you read the above comment I made in response to Aaron you will see that we still can create an experience while meeting expectations. From my work, I have seen that it is the delivery to the customer that creates the most lasting experience. While there are products that must be worked to create an experience, my work has shown that we…[Read more]

  • I am definitely being very active today in the Community, but that simply is because the year end is when all of the companies seem to be active and moving except for banks. When I was out shopping I noticed a trend in many of the stores I passed through, there were always things to browse and reasons to linger. Whether it was a bunch of sale…[Read more]

    • Well well well, look who finally weaseled his way back into the Community 😉 Good to see you back up and running, Ray. It was getting pretty quiet in here, but looks like that turkey last week made you wake up instead of fall asleep 🙂 I like the idea of throwing some fun little knickknacks to keep people entertained. I stick to my phone and…[Read more]

      • It is definitely good to be back in the swing of things. I had been bogged down by projects and other tasks, but this season sends my mind racing with ideas and questions to ask the Community. I just feel like adding to the decor and including interesting items creates conversation and buzz. Plants, pamphlets, and magazines are great, but not…[Read more]

  • I think someone said it a while back, but people want different things from their bank. So how is a bank supposed to know what to add? For services and for the building, how do they test what will work? It’s not like you can just throw something out there when it costs money, so who decides what happens in a bank and how they change the lobby around?

    • It seems like you really like this group, Dean 🙂 You’re always chock full of questions and I like that. I wanna say that banks make decisions the same way you and I do – they think about it, run through reasons why or why not it would be a good idea, then just go ahead and test it out. Maybe they’ll run a survey or they have a team research the…[Read more]

      • Well it wouldn’t make much sense to think about it all that much and not actually do anything. I guess testing it out is the only way to go really.

    • I do not work for a bank so I cannot say for sure what their processes may be, but in my experience with changes in institutions and businesses, change comes after a battery of tests and numerous considerations of the implications of the new changes. My best example would be my work with Relay for Life, an established, structured event that I had…[Read more]

      • Thanks for the really indepth answer. The step by step makes it easier to understand even though it’s not exactly what a bank would do. Maybe they’re doing something similar but with more specific bank stuff or more testing since they have lots of branches.

        • I can only imagine that their process is even more rigorous than ours was for our event. As a for-profit entity, I am sure banks are scrutinizing it to a greater extent than a group of volunteer leaders hosting a non-profit fundraiser. As such, they most likely are, and I would like to think definitely are, considering the financial implications…[Read more]

    • If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. I’m sure you know that phrase, and that’s exactly what banks look at. There’s no reason to change things if there isn’t anything that needs fixing. If there is something that needs to be fixed then you can tell, and they make the change because they know it’s broken. Do you need to run tests to figure out that…[Read more]

      • Even though everyone else isn’t saying the same thing as you, this still kinda make sense. It’s not like the banks change all that often, and alot do just make changes because something bad happened or they actually need to. The saying has it right. If it’s not broken the banks usually don’t change it.

        • No one wants to admit it but they know these banks are only making the changes they absolutely need to make. The bottom line is the bottom line, and that’s what they are working towards. Do not even think that they are not looking for where they can save a few bucks and maximize profits because they are and you know it.

    • See, I can’t say much because my business basically runs on how I make people want to buy my stuff, but I know when I want something new in the bank it’s because I saw it someplace else. Now that usually turns into me talking to somebody about not having it there. “You know that ATM check depositing they’re talking about at BoA? Would be really…[Read more]

      • So I guess it’s just trying to keep up with the competition. Sort of like when fast food started selling salads. One place starts selling a salad and now everyone in the area does too. Then they try fighting on price, so they come up with new things since they aren’t making as much money on stuff everyone else is offering.

    • As with any company, there has to be a set guideline for how renovations and large-scale improvements will take place. This may be through building redesign, maintenance overhauls, or equipment replacement, but the same sort of rigorous review is still required. Many of the larger companies source their requirements for improvement through the…[Read more]

      • So it’s sort of the slow roll with getting these new things out there? It makes a lot more sense than jumping into it and sinking all your money in something you aren’t sure about. I think I’m starting to really understand how this all works now. So according to everyone when they see that there can be improvements or changes, they review it, they…[Read more]

        • It might be a slow roll but do not forget that it only happens when they really need to make the changes. Who needs to put in new mood lighting when the old lights work just fine? Why do you need different teller stations when people are fine walking up to their tellers as it is? That’s the thing – they don’t need these new things. At least not…[Read more]

  • So I’ve been thinking about what you guys talk about in here. There’s all the talk about how the bank can make things new and exciting with touchscreens, new layouts, fancy technology, and all sorts of big ticket features. I was thinking about something on a smaller level. Like, not even close to any of that. In the office I work at I noticed…[Read more]

    • From a personal standpoint I would say yes, lighting does play a role in how comfortable people are with banking at a branch. At the most basic level, would you feel safe banking at a dimly lit business that you could barely see into? With money being the focus of your entire trip you want to ensure that all threats are visible before you step…[Read more]

      • Dean replied 6 years ago

        I think that makes sense. It’s common sense to want to be safe, so lighting does that for you. The different kinds of light though? I’m kinda unsure about that one. I don’t realize it so maybe that’s why I can’t really agree, but the idea does seem like it could be true. I’ll agree with you on the safety thing though. That’s a big thing that I…[Read more]

    • Interestingly enough, Dean, I had read a publication about this very idea. I’ve included it here: (http://www.informedesign.org/_news/feb_v02-p.pdf) The concept of lighting is a fascinating one – one that shows that ambient and otherwise secondary sensory inputs can influence personality and action. As the article states, lighting can be used as…[Read more]

      • Dean replied 6 years ago

        Thanks for the article, makes this seem like less of a stupid question. Plus it really backs up what Ray was trying to say. I wasn’t so sure about the whole different kinds of lighting before, but the article makes it clear that it makes sense. Different places use different styles of lights, kind of like how they have strobe lights and different…[Read more]

        • Well I guess that my idea does seem a bit more valid then. But light really does make us feel different. Safety is big, but it makes a setting totally different. A well lit room is worlds away from a room lit by a candle or nightlight – it just evokes a situation of literal night and day.

    • James replied 6 years ago

      Hey, who doesn’t like mood lighting? You can’t go wrong with setting the scene, even if it is for a place as a bank which is all business and usually no fun. It’s kind of like when you walk into a bar or a restaurant. Usually it’s that sort of dim lighting that makes you feel relaxed and comfortable, or in my case sleepy. Basically, it keeps y…[Read more]

      • Dean replied 6 years ago

        When you put it that way I remember how all kinds of places have a different mood when you walk in. Is it really the lighting that does that? I wanna say it’s the atmosphere, but that’s basically the lighting, huh? It’s crazy that a set of lights can change the entire feel of a place. Who would have knew?

    • Aaron replied 6 years ago

      Now let’s not get carried away here. They’re just lights. This isn’t like a door with a sign that says “do not disturb.” They’re lights and they really are just lights. You are making it sound like they can make something seem different, but they’re just lights. Maybe your coworkers are just like that and they are used to low lighting. Or…[Read more]

      • Now, Aaron, let’s not get too carried away when it comes to brushing off someone’s opinion, alright? Even things that seem unimportant to you may be important to someone else 🙂 Maybe you don’t care about lights, but how about other little things like decorations or chairs? There are all sorts of things that might matter to you but not anyone…[Read more]

      • Dean replied 6 years ago

        But based off what everyone else said, they can be more than just lights. I don’t know who’s right and who’s wrong anymore, but it sounds like both of you are right. People don’t go to places they don’t wanna go, and it’s not like people decide to go to banks just because it’s a great place to be. But lights would help, wouldn’t they? Couldn’t…[Read more]

        • Aaron replied 6 years ago

          If you are thinking of an ant on an aircraft carrier tiny, then sure, lights matter. But when it’s that insignificant why bother making the change? The reputation is more important. The service is more important. The product is more important. Would you think the lights are as important as the rest of that? Are they as important as the actual bank…[Read more]

    • Dean, I really like how you notice the little things that people would overlook. 🙂 Lighting definitely plays a part. Why would you wanna do business in a place that doesn’t feel right? I know when I’m in a bank I like for it to be nice and bright. I want to see what’s around me and know my surroundings just in case something bad happens (not…[Read more]

      • Dean replied 6 years ago

        Thanks, but now I’m not so sure about if we even have a right answer to my question. Most of you guys say yes, but Aaron says no. Sure, we want to feel safe, but shouldn’t we already feel safer in a building like a bank with all sorts of cameras and panic buttons? Why would we need lights as well? I like the idea of lights, they really do change…[Read more]

        • Everyone’s got their opinions, so you’ve got to sift through them and decide for yourself what you think, Dean. Only you can do that 🙂 Lights are a really minor thing if you think about everything that is in a bank, so don’t think that it’s the end-all, be-all of the bank and safety. They’re just something that helps everything else out, and we…[Read more]

  • You guys are always talking about these restaurants and how they have nice decorations or a fancy layout, but is that really what we need? I just went to the bank the other day and thought to myself that this is a simple, efficient way to get your banking needs done. Things are open and you can tell where you need to go once you walk into the…[Read more]

    • Aaron, while I do respect your opinion on the aesthetic layout of the bank branch, I do not believe you are fully internalizing how important it is to create a unique banking location. The design of a bank is of great consequence because it helps to serve as one of the few differential attributes of banks. Besides price points, most banks are…[Read more]

      • Aaron replied 6 years ago

        I haven’t seen a bank that’s been able to pull that off properly. Yeah, a nice looking bank is great, but when they look nicer it doesn’t always mean that the rest of the bank is still up to snuff. Why bother with the fancy curtains and chairs when your business model starts falling apart? If banks have been around for centuries then why should we…[Read more]

        • If you would allow me to refer you to a previous post in this group, I would recommend a posting by Alexey almost a year prior that shows how a bank can renovate, innovate, and improve upon an already stalwart business model. As one of the largest banks in all of Europe, Sberbank shows that even the largest bank in Russia has room for growth,…[Read more]

    • There are no obvious reasons to make a bank more than the most efficiently designed location possible, but the intangible is what you are aiming for when creating the bank layout. The aim of a nice place is to give customers a reason to walk in and spend time there. Right now, banking is becoming less about the branch and more about how the bank…[Read more]

      • Aaron replied 6 years ago

        I’ll tell you the same thing that I’ve said before: what is the point if the banks who try this end up failing? Most banks who give this a shot end up making mistakes that cost them business. Many end up losing money on the improvements that don’t seem to bring in enough customers to make up for the costs. Bankers can’t tell if new decor will make…[Read more]

        • Of course you cannot quantify the exact number of customers than an improved design will attract; you cannot simply measure something as intangible as customer interest. However, you can make an educated estimate as to the overall reach and impact it has upon current and potential customers. Based on comparable facilities such as a doctor’s office…[Read more]

          • Aaron replied 6 years ago

            As much as I would love to argue with you I feel like you just won’t get it. Banks are efficient because they don’t waste time and money on useless things. There’s a reason why banks are able to put so much focus on being efficient – they put the money towards it. Staff are better, operations are better, the products are better – why would you…[Read more]

    • Now, Aaron, you should know that the bank can be a little boring. Who wants to just sit around and wait with quiet elevator music in the typical office chairs when the bank is busy? Wouldn’t most people want something that will get them in good spirits rather than putting them to sleep? Sure, banks have got their system down and we all can use i…[Read more]

      • Aaron replied 6 years ago

        No one goes and talks about their banks. That is private matters that you keep to yourself for a reason: because no one wants or should know about what you do with your money. Are you going to strike up conversation about how your bank now has nicer desks or a glass counter? These sorts of things make no real difference beyond the 5 seconds when…[Read more]

    • Dean replied 6 years ago

      What is so great about having a barebones bank? What do you like about it so much and hate about the fancier modern banks? I’m not too particular about my bank, so I don’t get why you care so much.

      • Aaron replied 6 years ago

        I don’t like how modern banks forget that they are still banks. They act like they’re museum galleries, having all sorts of fancy displays and designs when they can’t even keep their banking business up to date and in order. Some day they’ll figure it out, but until then I don’t think it’s a good idea to make your bank nice but not functional.

      • What Aaron is specifically targeting are the banks that fail to maintain their efficiency and standards post-renovation. He is correct – some banks attempt to innovate their business but fail miserably in maintaining their level of service – but there are those that are able to continue providing their customers with the level of service expected…[Read more]

  • Sorry for posting so often in this group, but I just wanted to share another great experience I had with a unique take on a typical business. Insert Coins is a bar I stopped by in downtown Las Vegas last week with a few friends and I was happily surprised to see the amount of innovation and effort made to create a one of a kind experience. The bar…[Read more]

    • This place looks pretty cool and I know anyone who grew up when arcade games were first coming onto the scene will love it. Do you think this is more suited for the younger generation (25-34) or the older people who lived through the era? If arcades failed nationwide before, what makes you think this one will stick around for long?

      • Do you really think that this is a great concept? This place is best suited for bankruptcy. You’re going to get all sorts of problems with people spilling drinks and breaking equipment. People who like games will have their own systems to play on. They don’t need to come to the bar and spend money to play and drink. There’s a reason arcades went…[Read more]

        • Oh come on Aaron, you know that the place will do just fine. I’m sure the owners probably thought about that way before you did. 🙂 If I had to guess they already have something in place to cover the costs of broken equipment or charge customers who break things. Plus, if people didn’t wanna go out and spend money places then they would drink at…[Read more]

      • Let me reply to both of you at once to save some time and space. Dean, this most likely will be aimed at the younger audience. While I do include your age bracket within my estimates, I would dare to say that it would be even wider, ranging from ages 21 all the way to age 40. This is because many of the newer video games and consoles will be…[Read more]

      • Dean, you’ll learn that bars have a way of staying in business. People will always be willing to drink, and if you give them a place to do it then there will be some pretty good business. 🙂 Plus, it’s not just younger people who like playing games. I love playing Galaga, Pac-Man, and Centipede as much as anyone who grew up with the game, and if…[Read more]

    • It’s sad to see you getting so excited for another run of the mill bar. Having an arcade is just like having TVs so it’s a sports bar. In the end people want drinks, and this is exactly what will draw them in. Sure, they’ll like the lights and old games, but do you think they’re going to be going there to check out games or to have a few drink…[Read more]

      • The business is not trying to trick anyone into not thinking that it is a bar. Insert Coins is a bar at the end of the day, but the fact that it offers an arcade-style experience is quite a theme. There are games there to encourage people to sit and stay, leading to the purchase of more drinks and more profit for the business.

    • The concept of setting themes for bars has been around for years, but this is one of the most unique concepts I have seen. There is a wide appeal for an establishment such as this; there are those who will appreciate the older arcade games that they played when they were first released, but also there will be those who will come to play the modern…[Read more]

      • I agree that this is something that I would never have thought of when thinking of themes for a bar. Typically most bars will attempt to create a sports-minded atmosphere to attract patrons interested in baseball, football, soccer, etc. but modeling the bar after an arcade is a unique idea. What I would say, though, is that the concept may run…[Read more]

        • Yes, as with most bar concepts there is the risk of fading into obscurity due to the fact that society’s views are dynamic. There is rarely a safe haven when it comes to innovation. As you stated, video game consoles are finding increasing competition from mobile gaming, and this is a sign that Insert Coins will have to work much harder to…[Read more]

    • Now this place looks like it’d be a lot of fun! 🙂 Can you imagine people being able to go to a bar and see games that they played when they were kids? Bringing childhood and mixing it with a few drinks definitely sounds like a fun way to spend a night. Plus imagine what a great conversation starter it would be to go there and discuss what you d…[Read more]

      • It is quite a fun place to have a few drinks. I even had the opportunity to play a few of the games I had played in my youth like Donkey Kong. Most of my friends were playing on the more modern systems, but it was such a rush to be able to relive my childhood again, if only for a few minutes. Rather than just sitting and chatting, my friends were…[Read more]

        • Do you think the drinks help the experience or really just are on the side? Is the bar center stage or the games?

          • Hey, now, it is a bar, right? So that means that the drinks are tops when it comes to what everyone’s there for. Those games that are there are just conversation starters until the drinks get the blood flowing. 🙂 But I haven’t been there yet so let’s wait til Ray gets his word in 🙂

          • From my one time being there I would say that the bar is definitely the most prominent factor of the bar. It is in the center of the entire establishment, glowing and illuminating the room with a very warm light. Considering that the games draw much of your attention, it is hard to say that the bar is always the center of attention. However, after…[Read more]

  • After watching Gordon Ramsay and his show for years, I decided to finally try one of his restaurants and see if his cooking really did warrant everyone’s raving reviews. Unlike the typical restaurant, Gordon Ramsay Steak seeks to stray from the typical steakhouse atmosphere while still maintaining the level of quality associated with the chef. I w…[Read more]

    • Gordon Ramsay is truly a character to watch, and his personality is a refreshing departure from the stuffiness of traditional chefs; he is brutally honest and adheres to a high standard of quality without compromise. I had never heard of this steakhouse, but the pictures reflect his very modern, creative personality. The bar alone seems like it…[Read more]

      • Could you tell all of that from the pics? That is amazing. What do you think sets this apart from any other steakhouse? Better yet, besides the food, what makes this place so special and fancy?

        • The restaurant industry is always looking for ways to stand out, and modernizing their atmosphere is a terrific way to add a unique element to their cuisine. Your mood changes when you are placed in certain settings and situations, and like you said, the dimly lit room and loud music must have given you a sense of adrenaline similar to what you…[Read more]

      • You really are an insightful guy, Stan. I didn’t analyze the place as much as you did! On top of that you seem to know your stuff when it comes to relationship and customer centricity 🙂 Do you think a place like this could function as well without all the bright lights and fancy waiters? There are alot of plain Jane steakhouses out there, but…[Read more]

        • I might be jumping the gun since Stanley has not commented yet, but I think that the restaurant would do fine because of the food they serve. The service and atmosphere is great, but the food is probably the most important piece of the puzzle. Prices would drop and there would be less traffic, but the restaurant could probably sell their food out…[Read more]

          • Well I don’t think Stan noticed my question, so thanks for answering! I guess when it comes to products, you really are selling the entire package. If the stuff is good it will sell, but if the stuff is good and looks cool it’ll sell for more.

            • I am sorry for not getting back to you sooner. I agree with Ray Andrew and his belief that the restaurant would be successful regardless of whether or not it boasted a unique staff and atmosphere. The primary reason that restaurants are opened is because the cuisine is something to be experienced. Gordon Ramsay may be a celebrity chef, but prior…[Read more]

      • Honestly I’m just as stunned as the others. You really did nail it; when I walked around it really did feel like three different environments. The bar area we sat in was so much more crowded, loud, and lively. Walking to the bathroom took me through the regular dining area, which was so much more composed and reserved. But the second floor just…[Read more]

    • I’ve never eaten at his restaurants but I’ve heard of Gordon Ramsay. Do you think the style and appearance of the restaurant made the experience better, or was it the food? Were the servers different from how they would be at other restaurants? So was the atmosphere different from the usual restaurant? This looks and sounds like a high class spo…[Read more]

      • Let me try to answer these in order.
        Well, the food was great, but I think the atmosphere made it better. You could really just lose yourself in that environment.
        Servers were very friendly and engaging. Not only were the men handsome and girls sexy, but they knew the menu and did great when it came to matching our energy and emotion.
        This was…[Read more]

        • So would you say that it was a mix of a sports bar and a steakhouse? Reminds me of somewhere like Applebee’s but a whole lot fancier.

    • This place looks awesome! Ultra modern and lively, plus music and good looking servers to keep the energy flowing? Sounds like a place I wanna visit 🙂 Banks need to pick up on this and renovate their branches to be fresh and new like this restaurant! Imagine how much more fun it would be to have better music, modern designs, and colored lighting…[Read more]

      • It really is quite different from the restaurants I’m used to. I think banks really could learn a lesson from this and try to spice up their branches. I thought it was fun and got me in good spirits just walking into the restaurant, and I think banks could do the same if they got to renovating their buildings and staff.

    • I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, restaurants are selling the experience just as much as they are selling a food. Do you think your little steak was worth $50 because the meat itself is worth that much or the time and skill used to cook it costs that much? You’re paying to sit at a nice restaurant, and that’s exactly what they keep in…[Read more]

      • No, the steak itself probably was not worth what I paid, but the entire experience was. You are right, restaurants need to sell their design and their atmosphere to command the prices they do, but who says banks cannot do the same? We pay good money for food and service, and I know there are people who would pay more to have better service at a…[Read more]

        • Banks do not strive for fancier branches or radically changed service because that isn’t what they’re there to do. You sit in a restaurant and enjoy your food there. Meals take a while, so having a nice place and waiters coming back and forth is expected. No one would wait around in a dump.
          No one decides to spend an hour sitting at a bank and…[Read more]

      • You know, you shouldn’t knock the review because you probably would enjoy the restaurant as much as Ray did. But I love your response. You know why? Because you’re saying the most important part of the restaurant experience is the experience itself! That’s exactly what Michael and Senteo are trying to explain – the customer experience is vital to…[Read more]

        • If the food is good then of course I’ll enjoy it. I don’t like his conclusions, not the restaurant. I’ve explained it multiple times: banks are not in business to sell experiences. Restaurants may have food, but you’re really paying for someone to wait on you and take care of you while you eat. Banks are in business to make sure your money…[Read more]

  • I went in to have my car’s oil changed over the weekend and realized that the auto shop is not the greatest place to do business. The place is usually empty, loud, and boring, and since you can’t exactly drive home to wait, taking your car in for repairs is not a great experience. Do you think shops like this can improve the way they do bus…[Read more]

    • It sounds like the shops you are talking about are those garages in the plazas and strip malls that keep garages and workshops in the back. These are really different than using a dealership for repairs. For those smaller garages, it all depends on who owns it and how they operate. I usually just do my own maintenance on my car, but for bigger…[Read more]

      • Why do you think they have such a skeleton lobby and crew? Most waiting places have a receptionist and things to do. Do you think they need a better system?

    • These auto shops are better off keeping everything the same right now. You don’t usually stick around after you bring your car in for maintenance. Someone usually will take you home until the job is done unless it’s a 15 minute oil change or something quick like that. So why would you even bother upgrading a lobby no one really is using? This is…[Read more]

      • Fixing cars is the most important part, but rates will end up being the same because almost all services are standardized for time. The only real difference between shops is the hourly rate they charge, and it will always be high. Plus, not everyone is able to leave when their car is being worked on. Would it kill them to consider these people…[Read more]

        • Yes, it could kill their business. Say they improved the lobby, but the money they used could have gone to new equipment in the garage. Equipment that broke right after the lobby was redone. Now you have a businesses that can’t operate because they needed fancy chairs and a tv. Shops need to focus on what matters for operation, and that is price…[Read more]

    • To truly answer this question requires a bit of context so that we understand what, and more specifically who, we are dealing with. As with all businesses, automotive repair is typically targeted towards specific consumers due to the variety of vehicles available in the market. Different brands and styles of vehicle will attract different…[Read more]

      • Sorry about not being clearer. I guess you can say I’m referring to the auto shops that you find outside of the dealership, like the independent locations. I’m not talking about the Pep Boys or the Tireworks that have corporate standards. But I understand what you’re talking about. People have different standards so auto shops need to make…[Read more]

        • This truly boils down to the very nature and cost of doing business. Yes, you are correct in assuming that some customers will be alienated by changes or lack thereof. However, just as you cannot please everyone in a room, you cannot make changes that all of your customers will approve of. The goal of the business is to make changes that best suit…[Read more]

          • You’re half right. People want the best equipment when someone is working on their car. What’s a nice, new lobby to a shop with dated tire machines and pneumatic lifts? No matter who it is or what car they’re driving, people want the job done well, and better equipment does that.

    • Those are the best places for a real honest mechanic though! I love my mechanic and we are good friends. 🙂 Sure, the place could use a little work, but you won’t get the same relationship with a dealership. For something like my car, I think the person is way more important than the store, so who cares about a fancy lobby if the mechanic is mean!…[Read more]

      • Well what if your mechanic was a saint but couldn’t fix your car like he said? How about if the only other mechanic was mean but could get the job done properly faster than the nice mechanic? Nice doesn’t mean anything if they can’t get their jobs done.

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