Last weekend, I traveled out to Fremont Speedway for the All Star Circuit of Champions double header. I was pleasantly surprised by a lot of what I experienced in my first visit to the place they’ve dubbed “The Track Where Action Was Built.”
If you read my recent article on DirtClassic.com, you know that I subscribe to the belief that showing up is essential for success. And, going beyond expectations even when you don’t have to is what creates a tribe for your team or event.
I saw a lot of that at Fremont this weekend, and so I called Promoter Rich Farmer to talk to him about their philosophy on delivering a great experience to fans, drivers and marketing partners. I’m sharing a little bit of that conversation today in hopes that we can apply some of these philosophies to our interactions with our customers, whether they’re re-tweeting your updates, buying your t-shirts or sitting in your grandstands.
For the most part, attitude has a trickle down effect. From the front gate to the food lines, I ran into positive attitudes and refreshing experiences. One of Farmer’s philosophies is that everyone who walks through the gate is a customer, and I could tell by the way I was treated by everyone I talked to.
“Our staff understands that whether you’re in the pits or the grandstands, you bought a ticket to get in to Fremont Speedway and therefore, you are a customer,” Farmer said. “And you should be treated as such.”
One of the first things that stood out to me was the price of pit passes – no higher than most weekly shows. For an increased purse, it’s unusual to see that the racers didn’t have to foot that bill.
“At the end of the day, the racers are the entertainment,” Farmer recognized. “They are the people that are putting on the show so we try to make it as economical for the teams as possible.”
Talking to Farmer, I heard countless examples of how treating people well creates an experience for the customer. It’s easy to take the people who are involved in the behind-the-scenes of racing, teams included, for granted. They’re dedicated. They love the sport. If there is a race, they’ll show up.
But just showing up for them sells one ticket. Creating a positive experience, though, builds a loyal fan base. You’re not just selling tickets to a race, you’re selling them an event. And for a track that competes for entertainment dollars with a number of popular venues nearby, the minimum just won’t cut it.
“We don’t believe in the minimum,” Farmer said. “I’m a go-big-or-go-home kind of guy. Anyone can sell tickets to a race. But at the end of the day, we want to see our campgrounds full, we want to see our stands full, we want to see our food lines full. We want the fans to have the best experience they can have at a racetrack. Everything matters.”
More than the minimum is the difference between a one-time customer and a customer for life. A customer that buys your shirt every year, sleeps in your campground for every event, shares your Twitter memes and upgrades to the pit pass when the big show is in town.
Are there ways that you can give your customer for life more than the minimum?