Making your customers feel welcome at your premises builds positive feelings towards your company and your brand, and encourages repeat business. There are some simple ways to make your business more welcoming. Here are some of our favourites.
Having a designated break room and smoking area can make your site immediately more welcoming. No one wants to turn up to a business only to be presented by a huddle of staff smoking by your entrance or taking their breaks on the shop-floor/at their desks. If you have the space, create a dedicated employee break area – an added bonus is that staff are typically more energised and productive after taking their breaks away from their desks or out of the view of customers.
Freshen the air
Customers and clients will not typically respond well if they walk into your business and they are assailed by bad smells. Encourage your staff to leave strong smelling foodstuffs (fish, spicy foods, etc) at home and make sure that your site has good airflow – whether natural through open windows and doors, or artificial with well-placed fans.
Think about your waste bins as well. If you regularly throw away perishables then you need to make sure that your bins have lids and they are emptied frequently.
Extend your brand
Give your customers a cohesive, fluid experience with your business by extending your brand to your foyers, reception areas and entrances. A good, cost-effective way of achieving this is with branded entrance mats. Modern entrance mats can be printed with a huge range of colours, shades and fine details, making an accurate representation of your brand, logo or company name easily achievable.
Not all of your employees are sales people, but they should still have an understanding of some sales basics. When a customer walks through the door, anyone they meet should greet them with a smile and some eye contact at a minimum. On the subject of doors – it is polite and easy to hold the door open for visitors/customers/clients, or to press elevator buttons for them, for example. These little touches make the customer experience pleasant and memorable, and help to encourage them back.
Dress to impress
On the subject of staff, make sure they are well presented. You don’t have to have everyone in a suit and tie every single day (employee engagement is still an important factor to consider, after all), but try and avoid anything outrageous, or that might provoke a negative reaction – so miniskirts, band t-shirts, flip-flops, for example. There’s a big middle ground between comfort and super-smart workwear, so set your dress code somewhere in the smart-casual region.
Lastly, gently encourage good personal hygiene habits – body odour can be very off-putting.
Not necessarily in retail environments, but visitors to other businesses will more than likely expect to be offered a drink. Don’t serve them coffee, tea or water in whichever mug was lying around in the kitchen – either have pristine (no chips, stains, etc) branded mugs available just for clients, or keep a set of plain mugs, cups and glasses aside for their use.