We had a couple ladies come in on Sunday with a Deal Chicken deal – basically just a 2-for-1 we ran through a local promotion called Deal Chicken – but she had also purchased a ticket for a third person that wouldn’t be joining them.
She could have asked to refund the purchased ticket, and we could have done so very easily, I would have been happy to.
Instead she said “…and the third ticket, I’m just going to ‘pay forward’ so the next person that comes in can get in for free” and the next person in line was told they lucked out. They were happy, she was happy, the show was crazy fun.
While that was really cool of her to do, that’s not what makes it remarkable. The really remarkable thing is that this has been perfectly typical behavior at the Improv A Go Go for years now, and absolutely something you would expect to happen at HUGE Theater. We used to have people come into the IAGG when it was $1 and give us $5 with instructions to let the next 4 people in free, or pick 4 people at random, etc.
Somehow we have created a place where things like that are normal.
I love it. It makes me so proud and happy of what we do and what we are.
This isn’t a post about instilling values at the corporate level or some jargon-heavy business talk about how to engineer your customers’ reaction. I find that gross, insincere and maybe the most crass reaction you could possibly have to the story above. Plus, even if I was one of those people that lectured on “creating moments” or some other BS, I couldn’t give you instructions on how to do it if I wanted to. Pay those people thousands of dollars if you want to but I’ll say what I know for free and you can take it or leave it.
I just know that we show up and run the place as ourselves.
We treat people like we are happy to have them here because we are.
We are nice to people, not because a training manual tells us we have to be or because “that’s how you maximize customer loyalty”, but because that’s how we should be to people if we want them to be happy and we want to be happy with ourselves.
Turns out, there are fewer places than you would think that encourage us to just be awesome to one another just for the sake of being awesome – somehow people can tell that’s the kind of place this is – and it’s really cool and heartwarming the way people will surprise you when you give them an outlet for their better instincts.