Want a better experience for your customers? This workshop will help you plan it

Courtesy of Evan Carroll
Courtesy of Evan Carroll

A goldfish in your hotel room, the 13th doughnut in a baker's dozen, or even the mint you get in a bag of fast food — these are examples of lagniappe, a word that means giving a little bit extra in a show of goodwill.

A workshop this Thursday will help Wichita businesses implement that concept in dealing with their employees and customers.

Authors Evan Carroll and David Rendall will present the three-hour workshop, "Think Outside the Bowl: Creating a World-Class Experience to Drive Customer Loyalty and Advocacy," on Thursday at The Hudson, 508 S. Commerce. The two authors want to challenge area businesses to take a different approach to their customers' experiences.

They have written separate books in the "Purple Goldfish" series, which helps identify ways in which businesses can improve experiences for their customers and engagement in their employees. The name is inspired by Kimpton Hotels' practice of providing guests with goldfish in their rooms at their request. Although the program was a small benefit, it made a big difference for customers, Carroll said.

Carroll wrote "Blue Goldfish," which focuses on how businesses can harness data and technology to create those little bits of value for customers. Rendall wrote "Pink Goldfish," which discusses how businesses can use their weaknesses to stand out among competition.

Workshop participants will leave with a 90-day plan that details one or two little things they can implement at their businesses to improve their customers' experiences. Carroll said the workshop will focus in on participants' businesses and helping them stand out.

The workshop is sponsored by the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Wichita American Association of Marketing. It will start at 2 p.m. and will immediately follow an awards luncheon for the marketing association, where the authors will give more detailed presentations on their respective books.

"We love having thought leaders like Evan and David because they’re bringing a subject to our community that’s valuable to all businesses regardless of the industry," Chamber of Commerce director of engagement Rachel Douglass said. "We think national thought leaders like themselves are really able to inspire the business community and help them create real change for their customers and for their businesses."

A $45 ticket to the workshop includes a signed copy of "Purple Goldfish," the principal book in the series, as well as a companion workbook. To register, go to