The mediocre 5-star BLT

This past weekend we decided to chase the changing leaves west and spend a weekend in the mountains. The drive was a few hours, and if you too have 3 kids you know that can’t possibly done without stopping (several times).

Before we got to our first destination, we decided to make one final pit stop to get some food. The only question was whether we’d play it safe and go for the chain place we were familiar with or roll the dice on a mom-and-pop joint.

My wife found a little independent sandwich shop just outside the park gates and we pulled in.

The menu was lacking, and despite ordering sandwiches, they took an eternity to arrive. Even then, they came out one by one with 5 minutes between each delivery. And the food itself? Unremarkable.

Yet, before we pulled out of their parking lot, I left them a glowing 5-star Google review.


From the moment we walked in until they held the door open for us wishing us safe travels we were treated like family. When I got back to the car, I had already forgotten about the food — but here we are days later and I’m writing an email to 7,000+ people about the experience.

This, of course, has me thinking about my own business. I spend a lot of time obsessing over things like code quality and color theory. Yet, most of my clients couldn’t tell the difference between what’s taken me years to master and what their nephew could do in an hour with a template in Wix.

We should strive to provide a great product, but that might not be the most important thing. Just as the restaurant turned a mediocre BLT into a 5-star experience with great service — poor service can destroy your reputation and relationships no matter how great you are at building websites.

Imagine what our businesses could become if we dedicated as much energy to the client experience and relationships as we did to hunting down the latest deals or newest trends…

At the end of the day, most people won’t remember all the specifics of what you did for them — but they will never forget how you made them feel.

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