That was the subject of my very first sales associate orientation class, before my first job in retail, circa 1976, at minimum wage.
It may seem odd that today, as a member of the team that is developing Attesa, a 2360-acre motorsports community in Casa Grande, Arizona, that presentation remains top of mind.
Yet that lesson learned is more important now than ever. Let me explain.
When I was hired to work in the paint and small appliances department at Sears, right before teaching me how to use the ‘new’ electronic cash register, the HR lady shared a letter from a customer that went something like this:
“I’m the customer who never comes back. If the product I buy is poorly made, if the customer service is less that I expect, if the price is unreasonable, I’m not going to write letters. I’m not going to call someone and complain. I’m just never coming back.”
How does this apply to race tracks?
Because race events designed to attract paying spectators are subject to the same criteria for success. The product, service, experience and value have to be such that customers will want to come back.
In designing Attesa, we are committed to ensuring that race fans get more than they expect.
It starts with ingress and egress, or making sure the roads and traffic controls do not make going to the races about as appealing as a root canal. Then comes parking, directional signage and being able to get to the grandstands or viewing areas quickly and easily.
The restrooms have to be clean, fully operational and situated around the property for the convenience of the customer, not the track operator. The same attention has to apply to the concession and souvenir stands, the food and snack menus and especially the prices – because when fans are forced to pay literally three or four times what a soft drink, beer or burger costs at the local sports bar, they’re not likely to return to the scene of what they might rightfully consider a crime.
(NOTE: I once worked at a track where the on-site ATMs charged $4 per transaction and you could only withdraw cash as $20 bills. Shameful.)
The seats and seating areas, campgrounds and RV park have to be perfect. Same with the PA system, video displays. Wi-Fi, scoring tower and all the necessary infrastructure.
And let’s not forget about the actual race track. Our 2.8-mile road course will feature numerous passing zones and elevation changes to promote a genuinely competitive show, regardless of the series, instead of follow-the-leader boredom.
We are going to do everything possible to make attending a race at Attesa the best experience possible; from lots of on-track activity to pre- or post-race concerts and entertainment to properly trained guest ambassadors who know how to treat our customers.
With the world seemingly addicted to sharing their usually negative, critical thoughts and complaints about anything and everything on social media, we don’t want anyone to have reason to flame us.
We want customers to always want to come back.