Every town needs something which sets it apart, a hallmark which brings people back time and time again. One business expert believes Te Kuiti could put itself on the map as a destination where the seemingly ordinary is turned into the extraordinary.
Te Kuiti already has one such attraction, a destination many might dismiss as just another shop – 3G Teak is anything but. The team lead by Kim Fagan is a destination which is attracting a lot of attention from its customers, many who are travelling to the town especially to experience the unique service.
This is a huge opportunity for the entire town believes, Customer Experience designer Chris Bell says. His company specialises in helping business improve the way in which they interact with customers and he is calling all Te Kuiti businesses to be part of a culture shift which could be worth thousands of dollars to the town.
“Thousands of vehicles drive through Te Kuiti every day and if the whole town worked together to help motivate people to stop, there could be huge business benefits,” Mr Bell adds.
At 3G Teak, Ms Fagan recounts a story where just recently a bus load of women travelling to Auckland stopped into the store. The very next day a group from New Plymouth, one being a visitor from the bus, were back by car. “They had driven back especially to show their friends the store and allow them to experience what we have to offer.
“That’s a powerful message we are sending if we can convince people to jump in a car and visit a little country store.”
So what is the message sent out by 3G Teak? It is one of creating an exceptional customer experience. “We have always been creative in our marketing and branding. Because of our location we have to offer something everybody else doesn’t and we went for value added service.”
Ms Fagan believes this value added, exceptional customer experience could be something the entire towns delivers. “I have always believed we (Te Kuiti) have great potential to market ourselves as a destination, but it needs everybody on board.
“It has to be consistent, we could be known as a fantastic place to stop and shop. But we need consistency and the right philosophy in place. We can achieve this and it’s the little things which make a difference – basic things,” she adds.
Mr Bell says Te Kuiti has a great role model in 3G Teak and should not only be adopting that same attitude but learning all they can from Ms Fagan and her team on how to develop a leading New Zealand business from within a small rural community.
Mr Bell wants to return and present a Customer Experience seminar to the business community of Te Kuiti to explore the benefit of forming a coordinated approach to developing the unique Te Kuiti experience.
“I do however need to be convinced that there was sufficient commitment from the business community to really put Te Kuiti on the map.”