I love having conversations over a meal, but I hate the time it takes to prepare (and clean-up!), so I tend to dine out a lot in order to maximize my enjoyment of interesting table talk while minimizing the labor required to achieve it. As a result I have experienced some of the best and some of worst and some of the most incredibly average and ordinary service to be had.
It doesn’t take much effort at all to turn an ordinary experience into an extraordinary one. I linked three examples in the above paragraph to show you how the standard routine of taking a food order in a restaurant can be transformed, but what about the way YOU do your business?
Don’t buy into the idea that whatever it is you do is such a commodity or so mundane that you couldn’t possibly make it interesting.
That’s just being lazy.
Pick one of the most rote and reflex things you do as part of your job (preferably one in which you come face-to-face with internal personnel or external clients) and give yourself 10-minutes to brainstorm a few ideas on how you could add a little (just the tiniest amount!) bit of interest to your next interaction.
- Could you bring them a helium balloon?
- Hand them a funny greeting card?
- Give them a stuffed animal?
- Write your contact info on a pad of silly sticky notes they can keep at their desk?
- Have a caricature drawn of them?
- Show them a magic trick?
- Send them a funny personalized video?
- Bring a toy or treat for their pet?
- Treat them to a cup of Starbucks (or a Starbucks gift card)?
- Buy them a copy of your favorite book?
- Give them one of those personalized license plates you had on your bike as a kid?
- Ask a trivia question and give them a prize (I love M&Ms!) if they get it right?
This list took me just 2-minutes to create — think of all the ideas you could come up with if you used the entire 10-minutes! A really good resource for discovering some fun ideas is Fiverr.com. You can get things like the videos and caricatures I mentioned for just five dollars, or simply use the listings posted there to spark your own ideas.
Whatever you do, you can find an interesting and engaging way to do it.
Even if it’s just ordering lunch…