Updated: May 10
In today’s economy, ensuring return business as well as referrals is determined not just by the quality of the customer service you provide, but also by the experience you provide for your customers. With the dawning of the internet and online stores and services, savvy businesses realized things within their company must change, and change quickly. No longer is a good deal or timely service enough to ensure meeting sales goals or gaining new customers.
If you are like me, your time and resources are precious. Life is busier by the minute and our money does not go quite as far as it used to. I find myself window shopping, researching and even purchasing items online, more than I find myself going to stores. It isn’t just that I can shop from the comfort of my home or save gas as I scourge every corner looking for the best deal, it’s the simple fact that I won’t have to deal with rude people and dirty stores.
The simple truth is I prefer boutique shopping than I do chain store shopping. I enjoy finding unique pieces and specialty grocery items to spoil my family with, but the lack of customer service and nonexistent customer experience has made me question how I use my time. Why should I shop local when the experience is lacking? As a small business owner, I want to support small businesses, yet when there is no experience or poor service, the temptation to shop online is too strong.
So what makes a good customer experience? Creating a positive environment for your client from the moment they pull into your parking lot. It may not seem important, but a clean, well maintained parking lot can set the mood, create a positive tone and provide the ideal backdrop for the perfect customer experience. When customers enter your business, they should be pleasantly greeted, the area should smell appealing, and the lighting should create a warm welcoming vibe. If you offer services, you need to have well groomed, professional staff ready and on hand to meet their needs. Products should be easily accessible, there should be room to walk around without feeling trapped. The environment should make your customers want to come and stay for a while.
Look at every face of your business the way a customer would look at your business. Is your webpage easy to find and navigate? Does your social media feed provide quality information and add value to your customers? What does the outside of your business look like, and how professional and friendly are your staff? Focusing on creating the ideal environment for each client could positively impact your revenue.