Wednesday Words

To Go Where Your VisionPoints, a few inspiration points for you and your business.

What three independently owned businesses would you miss if they disappeared?
Stop in. Say hello. Pick up something that brings a smile. Your purchases are what keeps those businesses around.
—Cinda Baxter, The 3/50 Project

We are all either consuming something or creating experiences for others every minute—always on one end or the other of the Customer Experience, I said to a friend yesterday. What I love about the MCE Blog is that we can look at it from both sides here. As an Experience Designer I want to help your small business grow from the inside, but as a customer just like you, I’m looking, marveling, and sure, sometimes fuming, from the outside. Cinda Baxter would like us to do something more.

It’s a Meme! Only You Turn OFF the Computer to Play!

Cinda Baxter wants to help local businesses grow from the outside. My obsession is creating lasting Customer Experiences that get customers to come back for more and rave to friends. She’s obsessed with the other half of the equation. She’d like great customers to get involved in creating lasting businesses.

Is it our responsibility to save small, ailing local businesses in this economy, when it’s so much easier to line the pockets of big box store CEOs and it might save us fifty cents, too?

Kinda depends. Do you want to wake up in a year to a landscape of sameness, where your town and my town and all the others are served interchangeable, inarguable, blandness? Where personal service and quirky choices are gone, where the spark of N’Awlins and the depth of Boston and the funk of Austin and the sophistication of Toronto, the charm and the irritations of your small town, are all vaporized by lowest-common-denominator goods and services?

It’s not that futuristic. This is clutch time. We’re making decisions daily that are changing the business landscape. Small businesses are shuttering all around me, and it’s scary.

The truth is, if I could give my work away for free every day, I couldn’t save them all as an Experience Designer. But as a customer? Well, if I work with you (and you and you and you), we’ve got a chance.

Please, take about two minutes to read The 3/50 Project right now. And yes, like any other meme, it only works if you do it and spread the word. I hope you’ll agree that it’s worth it.

I think it’s time we become Maximum Customers. What say you?


Grow and be well,

Kelly Erickson