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Driving down the road to a client meeting, I realized I did not have my Fall League graphic to present to the client. I figured I could pick it up at the client, but alas, he has no WIFI in his center. So to ease my pain, I stopped at a Panera Bread, got a bagel and coffee and settled into USA Today when I realized that Panera had a WIFI connection. Oh Happy Day! Dashing out to my car, I got my computer and plugged in. Thank you, Panera Bread!

So what really happened here? I had a problem that I couldn't solve when I came upon Panera Bread. And almost unbeknownst to me, they solved it. THEY REDUCED MY PAIN. They made a customer out of me. They made me do "the word of mouth thing." They won me. They had me at "You are connected!"

What do we do to reduce customers' pain? Do we offer WIFI? Do we approach and greet every customer like she was "Grandma"? ("How are you today Grandma?") Or do we exclaim "Sorry I can't fix your bowling ball, Grandma"?

Every customer is an opportunity to showcase our business, to spread word-of-mouth, to create a legendary story for future customers and for employees.

What are you doing now to create a memorable story?

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