Whether you’re a multinational brand, a franchise, or a small corner shop, customer perception is vital to growth - and trust us, first impressions really do count! The trick here is to remember that the customer experience starts well before they buy from you (or they’re sitting in the chair ready to be inked!)
The Customer Experience
The interaction between your business and the customer is a layered approach. If the customer has a positive experience with your studio and tells a friend, then that friend will trust that interaction over other opinions and even reviews, as people have a tendency to trust people they know and are similar to over everything else. If you can get clients and customers not just thinking but feeling positively, then the flow on effect from that will work for you in leaps and bounds.
Word of Mouth
The best way to engage in this form of marketing and customer experience is through what’s called ‘word of mouth’. Word of mouth works both ways so you want it to be good. A positive review from a trusted friend is essential for your ongoing success. Consider some of the ways you can make first impressions count.
Are your staff on the ball and quick to attend to a customer either when they walk in, are on the phone or chatting online? We are time poor and no-one likes to wait.
Show that you have listened to their needs and that you can respond with the knowledge to attend to their requests. Do so with authenticity and sincerity and never handle negative feedback with a retaliatory tone. Tell them you appreciate their feedback as it will help you to improve your service to them. Be sure to fix the problem at hand immediately and then conduct a more thorough review process later. Use Customer Relationship Management programs to help you keep track of all your interactions.
Become a hunter/gatherer and collect information so you can form a connection to better target your customers needs now and in the future. If you have them waiting in your shop or studio, have them complete a quick survey or invite them to download a QR code to a survey so they can take it online. Incentivise this with a discount or added extra to entice them to provide further information.
Whether it’s through your website, social channels or print material, give value to your customers and clients. Give them tips, tricks, information and behind the scenes peeks into your world so that it’s not just about the transaction, but the relationship.
First impressions count. Involve all of your staff in creating solutions as to how you can improve your customer service before someone even books in to see you or buys from you. There’s always more that can be done!