When you’re working flat-out to make your young business succeed, it can be difficult to remember all those small touches that really wow customers who enter your premises.
But this is especially important in the service and hospitality sector, which is becoming more and more reliant on positive reviews to drive business.
Let down a customer two or three times in one visit and that could add up to an experience and review which will dissuade others from trying you out.
With that in mind then, here are five areas which you may need to sharpen up on.
First impressions are important and your entrance area should mark the beginning of what will be a great visit to your business.
Are all your entrance areas clean and tidy? Make sure that they are and that any glass surfaces are cleaned on a regular basis – this can really make a difference.
An often overlooked aspect of the entrance area is floor matting. People will be entering your premises in all weather and it’s important to have matting in place that protects not only the safety of your patrons by keeping moisture at the door, but also prevents dirt from being carried any further.
For high footfall areas you’ll want something heavy, hard wearing and perhaps fitted to avoid it coming out of place. For a more premium feel or to simply give a more personal touch, you could look at bespoke logo matting that can really help tie your brand in with the environment.
PHS has a huge range of both logo and standard matting to fit any business’s needs.
Lighting is another aspect that can make a big difference to how patrons perceive and feel in your premises.
In a retail environment you might want people to feel relaxed and consider a softer lighting, but remember there needs to be sufficient light for customers to view products and make a buying decision.
In hospitality lighting can make a huge difference. For example, a country pub or B&B would probably suit the rustic homeliness of lamp light, but the interior of a modern-feeling hotel or restaurant might benefit from something brighter and more direct.
Have a browse on sites like Pinterest to give yourself some inspiration.
Our perception of an establishment can change drastically based on our impression of the bathroom facilities.
You only have to read through 3 or 4 negative reviews of restaurants on a site like Trip Advisor before finding one that has taken issue with the washroom facilities.
At the very least, any establishment with communal restrooms needs to make sure they are kept clean and checked regularly, that all necessary facilities are in place and functional.
This alone is unlikely to impress however, so investing in washroom products that work more efficiently, look great, improve the air quality and generally offer a pleasant experience to your customers is going to win your brownie points.
OK, so this basically amounts to bribing your customers and clientele, but who doesn’t like free stuff?
Things like wrapped sweets, free pens, complimentary drinks, even exclusive offers for local services that you negotiate and are only available to your customers – they all contribute to a feeling of added value when using your business.
Think about it, even offering a box of tissues on the front desk could make the world of difference to someone who really needs it.
Well kept greenery
It’s well documented that plants make people feel more comfortable and relaxed, improve air quality, and are generally nice to look at.
Placing plants and flowers in key areas that see a lot of passing footfall make a great overall impact on both the aesthetic of your premises and the mood of your staff and customers.
Maintenance is important however, so bear in mind how much light the plants are getting and set up a schedule for watering. If this is an added workload you don’t need, you could always opt for a managed service.
Another option is to go down the artificial route. Although you won’t get the benefits associated with air quality, imitation plants are extremely realistic and of course they don’t require watering or tending to.