+1 Mindset

Are you and your team hardwired to look for positive ways to improve your customer’s experience constantly? This simple mindset enables you to see the world through your customer’s eyes, so their experience and your business thrive as a result. 

I’d like to introduce the framework of +1 Mindset – why it’s important, and how to cultivate it with your team so everybody wins. The term +1 Mindset was coined by Mark Tow, Director of Pharmacy Operations at Star Markets in Huntsville AL. Mark was clear on the impact of operations on their customers’ experience and prioritized this mindset with his team. 

What is +1 Mindset?

Let me illustrate +1 Mindset with a story. 

A landscaping company in Fort Lauderdale, FL trained its entire team to look for a little something extra to do when working at a client’s.

So, for example, if they are hired to do a treatment on a residential lawn, they take a couple of minutes to pull some weeds in the front garden or perhaps remove dead flowers from the rosebush. Then, when they leave a receipt, they note the little extras they did – no charge. 

The team are trained to look for something — often something small — that can be added at each visit beyond what they are contractually obligated to do. This added bonus usually takes only a couple of minutes, but adds a tremendous perception of value to their service and pleases the customer with something they didn’t expect. 

This is a great example of +1 Mindset. 

The +1 Mindset reminds team members to tune into your customer. It helps create the habit to always think, “How can I make this experience better?”. With this awareness, they can effectively offer a “+1 experience” to the customer.

+1 Mindset sets your business apart from the competition by enhancing the customer experience and delivering added value, often coming as a pleasant surprise to the customer.

You and your team are busy, but +1 Mindset will quickly become second nature—and fun! It’s like a game: How can you get one extra point with each customer? 

It’s simple and easy to remember while still significantly impacting your business and customers. Your business’s bottom line will directly benefit from +1. Your team will feel empowered by their ability to help, and your customers will appreciate the solutions and support.


Why is a +1 Mindset important?

With a +1 Mindset, you and your team are in the driver’s seat.

Work becomes fun when the team are focused on creating value all day long. Your customer  appreciation will increase, creating easy to rave about moments by the team and customers alike.

A +1 Mindset facilitates increased revenue and customer satisfaction. When customers talk about your business to their friends, they’ll do so with excitement and gratitude. Your team will feel like heroes because they have the power to make someone’s day, every day.

That’s the essence of the +1 Mindset: A team mentality that is always seeking to make a customer’s experience better.

This doesn’t always mean making a product or program recommendation. It could mean a free sample, extra time spent finding the right fit, suggestions, or advice. It could mean going above and beyond, even in a small way, like using a customer’s first name at the register or helping them to their car with their bags. 

Without a +1 Mindset, your customers may feel commoditized. The experience your and your team are creating may feel transactional.

If your team focuses only on the tasks of the business, they may feel discouraged and unmotivated. Your customers may feel like an interruption and are certainly not valued beyond their money.

Businesses that do not cultivate a +1 Mindset within their team tend to be focused on transactions, see higher team turnover with a less engaged team, and feel they are constantly competing with external forces.

A +1 Mindset creates a loyal community of customers – fans – by solving their needs and having a positive and engaged team. When your team is the hero, they know they’re making a difference and feel appreciated for their efforts. In turn, they love their job, which only serves to enhance your company culture.

Examples of a +1 Mindset

So, what does it look like to have a +1 Mindset?

Here are some examples:

  • Offering to lead a customer to the item they’re looking for and placing the product in their hand instead of just telling them where it is.
  • Making an additional product or service recommendation based on what the customer is dealing with or asking for (that they may not have known was an option). A good example of this in a pharmacy is recommending a supportive supplement if someone is taking a medication that causes nutrient depletion.
  • Helping a customer to their car when it’s raining, they have multiple bags, or are elderly.
  • Opening the door, walking them to the door, remembering their last visit, and checking in on their satisfaction.
  • Doing or giving something extra at no charge, like a glass of champagne before a waxing service or a 5-minute shoulder or scalp massage with a haircut.

How to Cultivate a +1 Mindset with your Team

Help your team shift from being task-focused to focusing on results and impact. 

The behavior will follow the shift in mindset, and soon it’ll become a habit. For example, at Disney World, the janitorial team are “Ambassadors.” As ambassadors, their job isn’t simply to keep the park clean but also to provide a positive experience to the park guests. They’re on the front lines and are typically the team members guests will reach out to for questions or directions. Knowing this, their title as “Ambassador” empowers them to leverage the +1 Mindset.

To create a +1 culture, ask each team member (including owners and managers) to report a +1 experience from the previous week at the start of each weekly huddle. This can be a short, 20 or 30-second story of the +1 experience. Doing this keeps +1 top of mind and encourages team members to look for +1 opportunities to share later. 

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