Some business owners intuitively understand the needs of their customers, sometimes before the customer knows themselves! A lot of this can be strategically implemented, informed by market research and an intimate understanding of a core customer base.
However, when it comes to the ‘feeling’ that a customer gets when they set foot on your premises, this can be a little more complex.So if you’re looking at going into business, whether it’s a café for sale that you’ve spotted or a retail space that’s for sale, think of a few little extras that will help differentiate you from your competitors.
Make a scene
A seasoned actor understands the importance of mise en scène, which translated from French refers to what is placed on the stage or what the audience will see in a scene. Setting the scene for your customers, therefore, is a useful concept to understand when you are addressing the aesthetic concerns and overall experience that clients will have when they set foot in your business.
So, what is in the scene when a client walks through your doors? Tweaking your customer-facing spaces can involve sounds, smell, lighting, décor, free samples. These are all are things which will impact a person’s feelings about your business.
What’s your vibe?
Don’t forget after all the props and technical elements are in place, your staff will be the most important aspect in delivering a consistently clear vision of what your business represents. A delicate balance between playing a sales role and being authentic is an ideal way for staff to communicate.
Whether you want them to be welcoming and inclusive or offer a more calming and subtle vibe is entirely up to you. However, consistency across your staff is pretty important. Entering a normally zen-like shop to find an uber-enthusiastic staff member can be jarring to customers, especially when they are expecting the opposite.
Fit for purpose
Sounds obvious, but does your space allow your clients to easily and comfortably achieve what they need to do? Typically this means conduct some sort of sales transaction, but depending on your industry, your needs will vary when it comes to the configuration of space.
For example, a coffee shop will always allow you to buy coffee, but what happens when there’s a line during the morning peak? Are there sufficient waiting areas or are people clambering back and forth between the register or out the door? Perhaps an order ahead of time app will allow you to manage peaks times better, for example. Some people get pals to road test the buying experience on their behalf, like a mystery shopper. Gaining feedback and addressing accordingly can be quite valuable.
Sometimes taking a little sidestep away from what you normally sell can help your bottom line. Non-core activities can end up driving up sales of your core business product as they attract customers that may not initially be in need of your main services or products.