I live in a small town with one small market and it is within walking distance. It’s a place I could and would easily go to for that one ingredient I realized I didn’t have in the middle of making dinner, or when I had a craving for a popsicle. Except I don’t. The place smells like dead fish. To be fair, the place has a meat/fish butcher counter that others rave about. I can’t stand going in there because it smells like the fish died last week and I am, admittedly, a non-fish eater. I am a fish hater, mostly. Conversely, I once stopped into an adorable seaside shack where seafood was THE reason to be there, and I would gladly have indulged except they covered up the smell of the fish by dousing the place in Lysol, another irritant to my sensitive sensitivities.
This article, 5 Subliminal Reasons Customers Hate Doing Business With You from Inc.com confirms that other customers react similarly to the little things in your business that you may not be noticing:
- Temperature and smells. Pay attention to whether it’s too hot or too cold for customers. Does your place smell damp or does it smell of overly powerful cleaning agents? Any of these can be a turn off that even the customer him/herself doesn’t realize, but will have a negative effect on their buying decision.
- How do you look? Is your place clean? A dirty bathroom is a downer, obviously. Are your office plants dying? Is there dust or dead flies in your corners? Any of these can cause a client or customer to question doing business with you.
- How do you sound? If you have overhead music, is it pleasing or annoying? Is it competing with a staff radio somewhere in the back? Is it so loud that you drive customers away or those with less than stellar hearing have trouble hearing what your clerks are saying?
- How easy is it to get in your door? If parking is congested, what are you doing to make it easy for people? Provide quarters? Plug meters yourself? And, while we’re on the topic, can a customer easily open your front door year-round? Now, think of all these things and apply them to your online business site. Is it hard for people to get around? To know what to do?
- Are your customers invisible? If they feel that they are, you’ve already lost them. Do everything you can to make sure that once a customer notices an employee, the employee has noticed that customer and made contact.
These might be five areas you are neglecting. One way to get the customer’s point of view on all of them is to construct a mystery shopping program that specifically looks at the sights, sounds, and smells your business is emitting to which you may be oblivious.