Have you ever been somewhere where your experience was nothing short of perfect? Of course you have - we all have. What was it about your experience that made it so much better than others?
Without knowing where this was for you, we can generally assume three things about your experience...
1. The environment was pristine (both aesthetically pleasing and clean)
2. Staff went above and beyond.
3. Amenities or extras made the experience feel special - you felt taken care of.
What did you do following this amazing experience? You told your friends, your family, you wrote a review! And you made plans to return asap.
It should be the goal of every business owner to craft this ideal experience because in today’s world, having a great product or service is not enough - people want an experience.
So what can you do to create an experience for your customers, clients, etc?
It’s actually quite a bit easier than you might think to start competing with business that put on a show and no, it won’t bankrupt you or require that you demolish your business and start over!
1. Keep it clean!
This seems like a no-brainer but so many businesses neglect this area in the hopes of saving a few dollars. At the end of the day, the return you get on this very minimal operating expense is massive. Facilities maintenance costs are typically only 1% - 5% of overall operating expenses, yet so many fight paying for this.
Don’t have your employees doing this work and don’t hire anyone willing to clean for $5 - or at least if you do, don’t be surprised when you don’t get a positive result. Yes anyone can clean but that doesn’t mean everyone will do it well - in fact most won’t (as you have probably noticed).
So spend money on a good service that will keep your space immaculate. Customers notice and it’s a key part of their overall experience.
2. Properly train your employees
Real customer service can sometimes seem like a lost art. How many times have you been ignored, or misinformed or given attitude by a representative of a business?
We understand that staffing can be challenging and sometimes you need to just throw someone in there and get them to work…but resist the urge if your goal is excellent customer service. Sure, you will have a few lucky hires that treat your customers exactly how you’d like, but this is the exception, not the rule.
Take the time to train an employee on exactly how you want them to interact with your customers. Get them up to speed on how your business works so that they are properly equipped to answer questions. Test them. Then, when you feel they’re ready to fly on their own, enforce behavior. If you catch them ignoring a customer or texting or giving an attitude, stop it dead in its tracks and explain why that doesn’t work in your business.
Will this take a little extra time? Yes. Is it worth it? YES!
3. Offer something extra
How special and surprised do you feel when you go somewhere and are given something for free, despite how small it may be? Not only does this make you feel liking towards the business but there is the theory of reciprocation (you’re more likely to buy from them or recommend them due to a subconscious need to reciprocate that giving).
So what could you do? You don’t have to break the bank here - something as simple as even just offering some candy or fruit to your customers will make them smile.
You could also team up with a local business who shares an interest in your customer base.
Let’s say for example that you are a fitness/active lifestyle clothing store - you could partner with a local juice shop and have them handing out free juices or samples in your store - this benefits them because they can target a new group of customers and benefits you because your customers get something for free when they come to your store which enhances their overall experience! **And bonus, if you partner with another business, they are paying for the freebie being given out, not you!
Creating an experience around your brand doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming - with these tips you could implement a new customer experience almost overnight.
Never underestimate the power of an excellent customer experience - it will translate into repeat visits, referrals and increased revenue every time.