I live in a small community where pretty much everybody knows everybody else. That can be good in times of trouble and bad when, well, you have stirred up trouble. We have a small organic and natural foods market here. For a long time, it was the only one of its kind in the area. I never shop there because of a bad experience some 8 years ago, compounded by bad experiences my friends told me they had had there as well. It doesn’t matter that there are new owners now and their inventory has changed. Walking through their door causes bad vibes, so why should I?
I have often wanted to find those original owners and/or staff and ask them if they know the affect they had on potential customers? I can’t do this because they are my neighbors. They might be friends of my friends.
Do you know how your staff are treating customers? Are they pleasant, helpful, polite? Do they answer questions with cheer or with a disgruntled sigh as if their valuable time is being unwisely used?
The services of a mystery shopper–a customer experience evaluator–could help you find out if you might be turning some customers away unknowingly.