Unplugged, No Wifi ... Risk or Opportunity?
Reading my morning coffee today I learned of yet another company that choose to unplug, turn off their wifi, and purposefully design a customer experience based on conversation and community.
The article titled "We don't want to be an office" in the Globe and Mail, Brenda Bouw shares the story of HotBlack Coffee in Toronto who is bucking the trend of free wifi to ensure their business fulfills their vision for the type of 'gathering place' they want for their company. Rather than a temporary office for many, free wifi, a single cup of coffee and limited conversation they want just the opposite experience and made the decision to go against the grain and cultivate the type of customer they want.
Todd Lucier, one of Tourism Cafe's business partners, also owns/operates Northern Edge Algonquin, a nature retreat and awareness centre. The experience they have designed is all about disconnecting with the fast pace of the modern world, and reconnecting with people, nature and stories. As an eco-retreat business, they too have made conscious decisions to unplug, live off the grid, support local and attract visitors that are seeking this type of tranquility and opportunity to meet and converse with people.
The irony of today's world is that for every technology that adds to our world, it also takes away something. As businesses we have to decide how to balance the norms and expectations of others, with our passion for creating a business and establishing a customer base that shares our values.
Today's Quick Hits to think about are questions:
1. What is the customer experience you want to design for your customers? Your ideal guests?
2. What are you willing to do and not do, to achieve your desired outcome, despite the perceived risks and norms?
3. When you 'dare to be different' you need to stick to your guns and give your business time to grow. Are you patient enough? Is your board? Partners? Shareholders?