As the end of the year draws closer you (like me), might find yourself taking stock of your business.
Not necessarily slowing down, but stepping back.
Stepping back and looking at what has and hasn’t been working and thinking about new ways to improve for next year.
If you aren’t stepping back yet, then I really encourage you to do that. Whether you are an Agency owner, consultant or you run your own blog - reflection is really important.
As I step back in my business, one area I’d really love to improve on next year at Ginger Marketing is our customer experience.
How do we bring on clients, work with them and continue to delight them and grow the relationship.
And the same for the micro influencers we work with. How do we engage them, communicate with them and continue to grow that relationship.
To get some inspiration going I visited one of my local nail salons. A place I’ve always found to be run very professionally, with a friendly, laid back (but not too much) atmosphere.
As soon as I walk in the door I feel at ease.
That’s exactly the kind of feeling I’d like everyone to have who deals with Ginger Marketing. It's important to identify; how do you want your customers / readers to feel when dealing with your brand?
What is this Nail Salon's secret sauce? What creates that sense of ease from the beginning of the experience to the end? And what keeps me going back?
Let’s break it down + see what lessons we can learn about customer experience from a living, breathing and successful local business.
First stop, visit the nail salon. Phft, can’t a girl work, learn and get her nails done too?
This is a picture from the outside of the nail salon. What can we say about the outside. Well, one thing is for certain, it looks like a nail salon. As soon as you look at the outside you know exactly what it is.
But why - what specifically indicates this is a nail salon?
It seems very obvious to you, but there are some specific elements that have been brought together to ensure that you know exactly what it is that they do. Let’s break them down now.
1. The Sign
Big bold letters 'Nail' its very clear what they do! 'Dance In Finger', a little less obvious, but its still clear this is pointing at a nail salon.
2. The Branding
Pink & gold, girly and also stands out on the highstreet against the other white, grey and brown buildings.
They not only add a cosy feel from the outside but also make it cosy on the inside as no-one can look in the window.
Again, friendly, and makes the shop front stand out.
3. The Price List
They have the whole price list pasted on the door making it really easy to understand what services they offer and the general cost.
With all of these elements in place I am able to make a clear decision about whether
I can get all of this information by the impression that I’ve formed from the front of their shop. This immediately puts me at ease before I’ve even stepped in their front door because I’m unlikely to find any surprises on the other side.
What happens at the enquiry stage?
Once I’ve stepped through the front door, the first thing I see are attentive and smiley people. I don’t have to go and find someone, or ring a bell, or stand in a queue. Every time I’ve gone there, it’s just immediately a nice friendly person asking you if they can help.
It also feels like the natural next step once you get in.
It’s not pink & friendly on the outside and then once you step through the door it’s all black and white marble.
The branding is consistent.
Mostly white interior with pink flowers on the walls, quotes saying “love” and fairy lights. A girly, flowery vibe, consistent with the outside and what I expected before I walked through the door.
There are lots of visual cues that this is indeed a nail salon.
There are nail varnishes lined up on the wall in a huge range of colours.
There are chairs and a table with manicure equipment laid out on the table and behind.
It’s neat and tidy and clean.
There are also visual cues telling you immediately what you have to do next.
Partly this is down to the fact that I’ve been to nail salons before. And this is an important note. Have your clients used a similar service to yours or read a similar blog before?
If it is a popular service there may already be an established routine and system that they are used too.
We may sometimes wrongly assume that innovation is best. When sometimes, it’s a lot easier for someone to just follow a process they have already been using, but with you instead.
If, for example the nail salon asked me to pay upfront, this would be a step out of my usual routine and I might second guess whether to stay & get the service.
This nail salon follow the same routine, smiley, friendly people, chair at a table with lots of manicure tools on it to sit at. I already know where to go before they tell me.
How can you guide your website visitor or reader? How can you make sure they already know where to go next without you even needing to utter a word?
I ask for a manicure and take a seat
The chair is comfortable but practical. Everything about the service is also practical. The right tool for the right job. And this also places the customer immediately at ease. Everything is taken care of, there is a clear formula, process and path - and there is a tool for each section.
There are a lot of tools.
And this also is a reason for me to come back. I’m sitting there having my nails done thinking, wow, I could never do this at home. I could never have so many tools and be able to complete this at the same speed with the same quality - and this is only costing me 13 euros. I’m definitely coming back.
This is important.
Customers need to feel as if they are getting value for money + that they can not easily replicate the same level of service by themselves, or repeat business will never be won.
Having a new tool for each stage makes it feel like I’m getting really great value for money. It also improves the quality of the finished result.
One other element I’d like to mention is the personalisation. The manicure only offers x 3 variations, other than those variations the system is the same for every customer.
You are able to choose whether to have your nails cut or not, whether they are filed rounded or straight & the colour. This makes it feel like the service is personal, in the elements that are most important - the visual appearance I as a customer want. But, the other elements are fixed.
It’s amazing how much we can learn from the businesses all around us! We don’t always need to be looking at online businesses, and sometimes it’s actually easier to see the elements working together in an offline business.
That easeful feeling that this nail salon creates is down to the consistency. From the beginning to the end as a customer you know what to expect & without fail that is delivered.
This is accomplished with a mix of >
Clear & Consistent Process
The Correct Tools
Small Amount of Personalisation (too much and its overwhelming)
Hope you like this post! As usual let me know your thoughts in the comments below. Have I inspired you to go to a local business & see what you can learn?
Written by Cheryl A Clarke Chief Happiness Officer & Director Of Ginger Marketing (unless stated otherwise)