3 Things That Entrepreneurs Often Ignore When Building Business Experiences
Ever wondered what’s the most important thing that pushes a client to walk into your spa, salon, barbershop or wellness center?
Nope, it isn’t the price of the services or the number of reviews that you’ve garnered!
Well to be fair, these factors are important but they don’t rank higher than the overall experience that clients are after these days!
So why’s a good business experience become such a priority for clients today?
According to Joe Pine & James Gilmore, authors of The Experience Economy, it’s because experience offers differentiation.
And rightly so…
A survey conducted by Barclays found that 81% of shoppers believed that receiving value for money was important, but what’s also important for them are the experiences—the little things— that make their visit worthwhile and memorable.
As humans, we’ve evolved in our ways and today we value good experiences over not so great ones.
Good business experiences make us feel heard, appreciated and welcome. It’s true for your clients too. Happy and content clients won’t mind booking your salon, spa, barbershop or wellness center months in advance and will not shy away from queueing up or even paying more for a service!
For a small business entrepreneur like you, building better experiences should be a priority. But before you go full-steam, it’s important to have a clear understanding of a good vs a bad experience.
Good vs Bad Experience: The Difference
Business experience refers to the interactions and feelings people have in regards to a business, which can be gained through direct or indirect contact.
Creating a ‘better business experience’ is when the quality of the interactions your clients have with your small business is improved for the better.
A warm hello on arrival or just a sign that says that it’s a place where they’re welcome is enough to cheer them up! It’s one of the few examples of a good experience that are basic yet very impactful.
When clients feel content and taken care of, they shower you with appreciation, refer your business to their friends and family and continue to show their loyalty.
A bad experience, on the other hand, is when a client leaves your door unsatisfied. It could be because of bad service, an unprofessional experience or something else that didn’t sit right with them. A bad client experience usually backfires—it makes it difficult for your clients to trust you, and it can lead to a social media rampage and it’s the worst when it makes them switch to your competitors.
As you can see, focusing on good business experience has its benefits that tie back to your overall growth. It can manifest in many different ways, but if you’re looking to elevate it, you need to focus more on the basics than on the bells and whistles!
In this post, we’re sharing with you three critical factors that small business entrepreneurs often forget to prioritize when building experiences for their clients.
Read along so that you don’t miss out on these basics:
#1 Benefits of staff training
As a small business entrepreneur, you should strive to make the first interaction that a client has with your business a memorable one—that’s key to good business experience. They should feel special and looked after from the minute that they step into your salon, spa, barbershop or wellness center.
So how can you ensure that the above is happening?
It’s simple—by training your staff so that they represent you in the best possible way.
Make sure that your staff levels up not just on technical and practical skills such as product knowledge, product application, or trends, but also, on the process and delivery skills such as complaint handling, consultation, and soft skills—etiquette, communication and listening.
Yes, training does require investment, but in the long run, you’d realize that it benefits your business more. When your staff is well trained, your clients will get the same consistent service each time. The staff that are trained well and have good product knowledge also come across confident and efficient during a service.
See it in action at Nicck Townsend’s Salon based in Philadelphia.
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Soft skill training, on the other hand, ensures that your clients have a pleasant experience interacting with your staff members. It allows your staff members to approach a problem with a clear mind and offer their advice and solution in an engaging and cheerful manner.
The bottom line: you’re in the business that’s about people! You want your clients to get the best service, but in doing so you want them to feel happy and satisfied and that’s where training your employees can make a big difference.
#2 Importance of technology
With technological advancements, using a pen and paper method to book appointments seems a thing of the past. It may be a method suited for you but is a big inconvenience to your clients and it ties heavily into the overall experience.
A spa, salon, barbershop or wellness business that’s not up to date with technology and continues to use outdated methods is compromising the experience for its clients. Your clients lead a busy life and that’s why flexibility is of utmost importance to them.
A pen and paper method of booking clients may seem easy, but it’s also basic.
An online scheduling software ensures that clients can book and reschedule an appointment on the go, at their pace, even when your shop is closed. Genbook, for example, provides its users a real-time snapshot of the bookings, staff availability, smart calendar, and an inbuilt customer relationship tool—a few of the things which are too difficult to track with traditional booking methods.
#3 Deprioritizing in-shop aesthetics
A service-based business needs to stand out to stay unique.
Unlike other businesses, people walk into your salon, spa, barbershop or wellness center not just for the service but to pamper themselves, escape the mundane, and sometimes even take time out!
That’s why it’s important to focus on aesthetics—the way your space looks and feels. It’s crucial, especially when your competitors are doing everything in their capacity to ensure that their space is aesthetically pleasing.
A few quick tips for you:
- Create a unique in-salon playlist for your clients—the right music helps calm people instantly
- Pick up a signature scent—as humans, pleasant smell triggers us positively. Smells also evoke memory and have a calming effect on us.
- Keep linen clean—you don’t want your clients to use bleached or tatty linen and pass judgments
- Ensure the space is clean and sparkly—don’t shy away from hiring cleaning professionals every now and then. Also, ensure that the pieces of equipment are sanitized regularly.
- Play with your decor—plush cushions, comfy throws, striking pieces whatever makes the space inviting and comfortable!
You don’t need to overboard and start renovating the place—that’s not the idea. But remember it is the small changes that make the biggest impact on the experience of your clients!
Experience is everything for clients—there’s no debating it. If you want your business to shine in the eyes of your clients, you would have to ensure that building better experiences are a priority. The tips shared above will help you lay the brickwork of building them an experience that they won’t forget.
Your clients are seeking a great business experience. Download this report to see what clients expect from your business in 2020.