I just read an interesting article called Social Powered WiFi which talks about brick and mortor store owners offering free WiFi to their customers. It is a good article and it got me thinking...
Years ago, long before the Internet and WiFi, when I had my own real world store, I had a table and chairs set up for customers to use. There was a counter close by with free coffee. Over the table a sign read, "Conversation Area". Some of my customers (and some just visitors) dropped in for a free coffee and to meet with friends.
I joined in on the conversations sometimes, having coffee and listening more than talking. People who know me know that was a very difficult task. But I did listen. And I learned a lot about my customers. Their likes and dislikes. The thing they wanted that I didn't have (but would get). And more. It let me personalize my service and expand my business.
What I would like to ask today is, considering most of us have online business and a real table, chairs, and free coffee, is pretty much out of the question, what can we do to produce the same atmosphere, the same engagement, and generate the same success?
I have some ideas on this but, just as back in those early days of my business, I am going to shut up and listen before offering mine. Please drop a comment with your thoughts below.