Are you entertaining your customers enough?

English: Parisian mime working for tips entert...
Parisian mime working for tips entertaining crowd. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A research study asked 500 adults if they were more likely to pay for digital products which provided entertainment (such as music) and solutions (software apps) or for those providing knowledge such as an online newspaper.

The research, says ScienceDaily, found that younger and wealthier users were more likely to be willing to pay for online news. People who had bought software programs, online movies, apps and e-books were also more likely to pay for online news.

This research is important for anyone involved in online or traditional news media. It illustrates the ongoing effects of the digital revolution on news. But it also makes one ask how small business can use entertainment to their advantage.

How can you use entertainment to make your business, products and services more interesting to customers?

Would your customers pay for entertainment or knowledge?

Some small businesses may say they’re not in the entertainment business. Maybe they aren’t. If you’re in the drain cleaning business, you probably going to find it hard to make your business more entertaining. But take a tyre fitment centre. My local tyre and fitment centre Tiger Wheel & Tyre in Main Street Randburg has a huge reception area that mimics a living room. There you will find coffee and biscuits, magazines and TV on for you to watch. The staff are friendly and the managers are competent.

But I agree that it might be difficult for you to find ways to make your business more fun and entertaining. How will you do this? What ways can you find to make your business more entertaining. Have you perhaps tried to do this before and not succeeded?

You’re probably also worried about cost. What will this cost? My turnover is already low because of the bad economy and now I must spend more money on making my business more entertaining. Will it really bring in more customers?

When you go into a restaurant you don’t just want to satisfy your hunger or thirst. You could do that at home. You could do that in many other ways. You go out to a restaurant because you want to enjoy yourself and perhaps be entertained. Look, I’m not talking about loud music and dances. You get restaurants like that but not everybody wants as much entertainment as that. Most people will want to enjoy a good bottle of red wine and an appetising meal surrounded by family or friends. But when they leave the restaurant they want to feel like they’ve had a good time. That’s entertainment.

Next time you’re in a supermarket take a look at the displays. The same can be said for a computer shop or garden nursery. Attractive merchandise displays are fun and entertaining for your customers. People don’t only buy computers for work. They also don’t buy plants, flowers and shrubs because it is their duty to do such things. They enjoy gardening and want to have fun in their garden. Displays create fun in store much in the same way as at a local produce or craft market or even an exhibition.

How much entertainment value do you have in your business?

For the online business, the web entrepreneur, the app developer, entertainment can become a crucial part of their offering. Websites do not need to only have “about us”, “free stuff” and “FAQs”. You can have a lot going on your website including polls, competitions and even games. The banks are now claiming to make their website offerings more exciting even though the only thing I found that’s useful is a bond calculator tool. Websites or online retail environments need to be engaging, interactive and entertaining.

The value of entertainment is often overlooked. Just pick up one of the local or international gossip magazines and look at the people covered. Many of these are the top paid people such as singers, rappers, movie stars. Apart from CEOs, entertainers, the top ones at least, are among the highest paid people on the planet. Sadly, those who provide knowledge, especially knowledge without fun and entertainment, are academics and teachers who are among the lowest paid.

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