The trend toward the experience and away from the product continues to increase – making both customer service and offering unique experiences more important than ever.”
While a lot of what I do for my clients in visual (Image Branding, Signage, Photography for their business, design, and online marketing), these graphic efforts have to be matched by how your business is operated, with an equally important priority on giving customers “a memorable experience.“
For example: If someone walked into Oh My Lolli! for the first time, (the atmosphere is bright, fun and inviting, not to mention the tasty treats you’ll no doubt be buying) but was not greeted by one of the associates, it’d be a disappointing experience. After browsing the 25 flavors of lollies, you made a purchase and left, you’d wonder why you just paid $8 for a bag of candy and decide next time you’ll head to Target instead. However, every time a customer walks into this shop, whether you’re a regular or newbie, you’ll no-doubt be greeted by smiling, spunky workers, who tell you what they do there, offer you a sample of the candy, show you how the candy is made, and mention that you can get custom orders. You’ll understand what their tag line “A truly sweet experience” really means, see the value in the product and enjoy paying for it, and you’ll likely become a customer for life.
This is a great example of how the customer’s experience in a small business matches the marketing efforts made: in social media, email blasts, advertising, and the visuals throughout the retail space.
If what a customer receives through a Brand’s marketing isn’t consistently matched by their direct in-person experience with your business or service, then all of your marketing and design efforts become wasted dollars – a moo point.”
Finding the marriage between your Brand’s Image and the Customer’s View of your Image, might be one of the most important things you implement… besides being really good at whatever it is that your business offers.
How to improve your customer’s experience:
- Customer Service: the basics of customer service are a huge impact on your Brand’s image. First impressions are everything. You can’t just have a pretty store or a perfect product, with an employee that’s doesn’t come out from behind the counter that is rarely seen smiling.
- Leadership: If you need to have regular staff meetings. Leadership and motivation is key in the way they respond to you or your managers. Keep a positive attitude, and that will overflow into the attitude of your employees. Meetings help keep everyone informed, on the same page, and here you can share your expectations of how they’re serving your customers.
- Training: If you haven’t been educated in Positive Thinking, How to Influence People, or Customer Service, take a course, a conference, or read a book for yourself first. You’ll pull out tips that will become invaluable to your business attitude and it’s long-term success. Encourage your managers and employees in these principals also. Not into doing the training yourself? Set up and require a paid in-house training where you bring a speaker in, that’s trained to help you share service principals & expectations that are relevant to your business.
- Verbalize: Show and tell them what you offer. Visuals are an important reminder of this (might be signage or posters on the wall), as well as sharing what you offer through an “elevator speech” that you/your employees give customers regularly.
- Marketing: Match your in-store customer experience efforts with your efforts Visually: through Image Branding (and re-branding), Graphic Design, Advertising & Promotional Materials, and reaching your customers online
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