Thursday, December 14, 2006

Route 66: A series of Invitations

Albuquerque, NM: The hand-addressed invitation to a black-tie party sets up different expectations than a Day-Glo flyer stuffed in your mailbox. It’s more personal, was done with more care, and is on nicer paper—combining to make a stronger statement of quality. Similarly, the way you invite customers to your site is the first important step in providing a seamless, stellar customer experience. Some organizations and businesses operate on the assumption that, “if we build it, they will come.” But attendance is not magic, and customers need to be wooed. The first step is creating your Invitation.

The art deco facade of this building is lovely, but do I have any idea of what's inside? No.

This facade clearly tells you what to expect: kitschy souvenirs with a nostalgic feel.

Another beautiful facade, but the street-side windows aren't doing their job of inviting people in.

Looking just like a movie location, the Silver Moon Lodge evokes road trips on the venerable Route 66. I know just what to expect inside. (I may choose not to stay there, but the experience looks consistent, which is important.)

Look for the fiberglass octopus, just beyond the street sign. He's holding soaps and brushes in his many arms, a fun icon/advance organizer of the car wash experience.

Tip of the day: Your business needs to speak to people, from half a block away, about what's inside for them. Walk away from your entrance and try to imagine you've never seen it before. Is it welcoming? Is it clear what you offer inside?

This is an excerpt from Creating Great Visitor Experiences: A Handbook for Museums, Parks, Zoos, Gardens, and Libraries to be published next spring by Left Coast Press.

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1 comment:

  1. Anonymous5:59 PM

    Hi. I visited Albuquerque, too. Love New Mexico. Took some of the same photos. Just a note: Readers on the Web are scrolling down. You should put your captions above the photos, so we know what we're looking at, as we see it. We don't have the same context as a book. On the Web, we can't see "everything".