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Why Build-A-Bear Could Compete With the Home Services Industry

I peeked at my sleeping son early in the morning. What I saw melted my little heart. He held a loving death grip on his new stuffed puppy until finally waking up.

Part of why he has such a strong affection for this stuffed puppy is because he got help MAKE IT!

You see… you can go to the store and purchase a stuffed animal for your kid like anyone else. Or, you can Build-A-Bear with your kid that they will cherish and be proud of forever.

As my wife and I stood in line with our two kids to build their “bears”, we told stories of “when I made my first Build-A-Bear…”

It’s really an amazing experience.

How to Build-A-Bear

It’s pretty simple… but so amazing.

First, your child picks what kind of bear they want to build.

Second, they get to help fill the new bear with fluff.

Third, there is a little exercise to fill the bear’s heart with love.

Then, the child gets to give their bear a bath.

Finally, the bear is sewn together and given a birth certificate and little house shaped box to go home in.

My little guy loved it.

So, again…

You can buy a teddy bear from a box like anyone else, or, you can Build-A-Bear.

What does this mean for the trades?

Here’s what’s amazing about what Build-A-Bear is doing: they are creating an experience for customers that they will gladly pay MORE for.

The bear by itself, not to mention all the accessories, is $25. Once you add in a voice for the heart, clothes, shoes, and other extras, you EASILY end up spending $50… on a teddy bear.

But here’s the thing… you’re not just paying for a teddy bear. You’re paying to Build-A-Bear. You’re paying to see the wonder on your child’s face as they make their new little friend. You’re paying for the experience.

You may not be helping people build a stuffed animal, but you ARE helping them build something even more wondrous: THEIR HOME.

The Home Services Industry can learn a valuable lesson from Build-A-Bear. You may not be helping people build a stuffed animal, but you ARE helping them build something even more wondrous: THEIR HOME. And you can (and SHOULD) make an experience of it.

(NOTE: Download The 5 Attributes of World-Class Technicians to learn how your techs can create a WOW experience in customers’ homes.)

From the Phone to the Home

The experience starts when you answer the phone. Instantly, the customer makes assumptions about your brand based on their interactions with your people.

Do they like you?

Do they trust you?

Do they feel reassured by you?

Do they perceive value?

These are critical questions to answer based on how your people answer phones!

When you’re in the home, the customer is making even more assumptions about you.

Do they feel safe?

Do they feel comfortable?

Do they feel informed?

If they had to call your company again, would they want the same person to come out?

These questions are overlooked way too much. The mentality many people in the industry hold is that it’s just about checking boxes. They think “Get the work done, do it well, collect payment, move on.” They think that this is the only thing customers care about too.

They say things like “customers don’t care about the experience. They just want us to help them quickly and affordably.

While it’s true that the customer usually wants quick, affordable service, they want a good experience EVEN MORE than those things. They just don’t vocalize that need.

(NOTE: Download The 5 Attributes of World-Class Technicians to learn how your techs can create a WOW experience in customers’ homes.)

Your Opportunity

The Home Service Businesses that prioritize customer experience WILL WIN. PERIOD.

It’s not a matter of if, but when.

When I saw my son snuggling his new Build-A-Bear, it made it so the price didn’t matter to me. In fact, it made me eager to go again when he’s older and understands the experience a little more.

When you win customers’ hearts the same way Build-A-Bear won my family’s hearts, they will not only want to do business with you again… they will look forward to it! (which is why selling service agreements is important… but that’s a topic for another day)


Zac Garside is the Marketing Manager here at Power Selling Pros, but his title is “The Dark Knight”. He’s never really sure if he should write his bio in the 3rd or 1st person… so for now, he’ll stick with the 3rd person. Zac is hugely passionate about leadership and marketing as the most powerful forces in business.