I was at lunch today and got to talking to the owner of this restaurant seen below:
He mentioned that looking after regulars was important to generate return custom. One of his tricks was to provide a free glass or bottle of wine at the end of a meal. He empowered his staff to do the same. He said as reward and ‘thank you’ tell said customers this:
‘That last bottle / glass of wine is on the house!’
Problem was that some of his staff got the language ever so slightly wrong. Instead they would often say:
‘The next bottle / glass of wine is on the house!’
As you can imagine this changes their view on what to order (Hint: it comes from the top shelf). Instead of where they would normally focus their purchase. The strange thing is that the benefit to the consumer is essentially the same:
A free drink you didn’t expect to pay for.
The problem with getting it wrong is a cost to the business that could be many times higher.
Startup blog lesson: Our words to our audience matter. Small changes can have a huge impact.