As I entered the establishment to experience the well promoted Corporate Tuesdays, I took a glance around and said to myself, now this is the stuff that female dreams are made of! The walls were painted a soothing turquoise color, the white trim, the accessories and glistening chandeliers added a classy feel to the place. The furniture was well chosen; the right pieces for comfort, style and sophistication. It was spacious, clean and inviting. I knew immediately that this was no average salon. I sensed that the experience would be a satisfying one. The staff members were paying full attention to the clients they were serving. There was no chit chatting between employees. The salon manager was busy checking on clients and offering them a beverage of their choice. Their products were visible with testers inviting clients to sample. The light jazzy music added to the ambiance. “This is a classy joint” I thought.
Isn’t it amazing that in an instant your organization could be summed up; that people could and would sense the strength of your brand based on the environment and atmosphere? What’s even more amazing is that many businesses do not focus on ensuring that their brand image is strong. Customers want to be associated with a business that looks reputable; projecting an image that states they are concerned about how they are perceived by their clients. Truthfully, customers feel good in an environment that is clean and well maintained. Face it; nobody wants to be staring at scuffed walls, broken tiles or filth hanging from the ceilings!
Customer Service is not just about the way employees interact with clients; it encompasses the entire customer experience. Everything that the customer sees or that can potentially impact the customer is a part of providing exceptional customer service. How strong is your company’s brand? What do customers think about when your business comes to mind? What is it that draws them back or away from your organization? Is it the ease of conducting business, the headache of non-customer friendly policies and procedures, friendly staff, a strong brand presence or limited options?
The owner of the lounge type salon mentioned above obviously gave great thought to the entire customer experience. It is clearly evident in the physical appearance of the Lounge, that the owner wanted her clients to feel pampered, relaxed and sophisticated. That attitude carried over to her staff members, who maintained professionalism in their client interactions. The customer experience started from the moment I entered the doors throughout the full cycle of pampering services and it even impacts me today. Companies that ensure customers have completely satisfying experiences, focus on more than the basic elements of service and people. They create a strong brand image, select the right team members, enhance their team’s customer service skills by providing consistent training, get buy in from their team to ensure the vision of the organization is consistently being delivered and are always seeking more ways to add value to their clients. These are the companies that do a better job of creating memorable positive customers experiences.
Tip of the Week: Don’t just focus on the basics of customer service. It takes much more than the meet & greet. Provide clients with a memorable & positive customer experience from the moment they enter, to the time they leave. Ensure it has a lasting impact; that the environment, the people, the policies & procedures, the products, the brand image, etc. remain a pleasant memory for them so that they want to return again.