As I took a seat at the bar of the Owl Shop, a place I had never been to or heard of before, I was immediately greeted by the bartender. I asked for a scotch menu and quickly made my decision, even though they carry upwards of 100 scotches. The bartender asked if I liked the Islay scotches and then offered to pour me a taste of one I had never had. It wasn’t an upsell – it was the exact same price as the one I ordered. She told me about it’s roots and flavors. I was delighted, as I never knew of this particular brand. She then poured me a taste of the same scotch, but the 16-year version (aka heaven!). Towards the end of my time there, she printed out a copy of my bill for me to keep, since it had the scotch’s name on it, so I wouldn’t forget it.
I felt attended to, I felt cared about, I felt like I mattered to this place. The bartender gave me knowledge, special access, and a new experience. ALL FOR FREE. Caring, passion, and effort don’t show up on many P&L statements, but they sure as hell resonate with customers.