How To Give Your Customers a Winning Experience
I regularly visit my best friend in San Fransisco for extended periods of time. She lives in an apartment above a suuuuper cute nail salon. The first time I saw it, I couldn't stop staring through the front window. The aesthetic of the salon alone drew me in - minimalist decor, super bold colors, and the obligatory monstera plan. I just had to go!
I looked them up online and found that their online branding matched their physical location. I scoured their website and scrolled through their Instagram. The booking experience was efficient and quick. It was easy to make an appointment and as soon as one was confirmed, I received a personal email from the owner welcoming me to my first appointment. I even emailed her a question and she responded within the hour.
I then received a series of wonderfully automated emails preparing me for my visit. When I arrived, I knew exactly what to expect. As soon as I stepped into the nail salon, I was cheerfully greeted. The staff was incredibly lovely the entire time.
When I went to check out, I didn't have to ruin my wet nails to pay as they had already collected my payment info when I booked the appointment. In addition, I was handed a series of little gifts - a sweet little zipper purse, branded nail products, a fizzy drink from one of their partners, and some advice on how to make my manicure last longer.
The next time I checked my email, I again received a series of automated emails - thanking me for my appointment, detailed tips on how to care for my new manicure, and a request for feedback or a review.
I was overjoyed. That was the BEST nail salon experience I had EVER encountered.
Ya know what's interesting? The manicure itself was ... pretty basic! Don't get me wrong - the nail tech did a great job. However, there were only about 30 colors to choose from and they didn't offer gels or designs. Yes, this is an excellent way to remove decision fatigue (another brilliant part of the experience - but that's another blog post), but let's be real - I could have gotten that same manicure literally anywhere.
And yet - I can't wait to go back to that salon and get another manicure.
Although there are nail salons on almost every block in every city or town, this salon had unlocked the secret to standing out - they made me feel AMAZING. From start to finish, I felt taken care of, at ease, and seriously ADORABLE. These intangible services can be just as valuable, if not more valuable, than the product or service that is for sale.
That is what the most successful businesses all have in common.
If you can consistently provide a high-quality experience for your clients, they are more likely to stick with you again - as well as refer you!
Let's review what this salon got right:
Their branding was ON POINT.
They made everything incredibly easy for me.
They used Acuity as their scheduler, which automated all of the emails to me before and after.
They had a TON of bonuses besides the actual manicure I bought in the form of advice and physical freebies.
Someone was communicating with me before, during, and after.
They made me feel special!
So how does one achieve this? Just follow these 4 steps...
1. Write out your client's journey.
Sit down and start from the moment a client contacts you to the moment they leave your sphere. Note every single interaction. What are the steps? Where are the holes? Where can you provide more value? And most importantly what can you delegate or automate?
2. Make sure there is a trigger for every step.
Laying out every step of your client's journey won't do you any good if you have no system in place to trigger all of it. Automate whenever and wherever you can. Don't rely on your employee's memory for any step - put a reminder in place. Remember - businesses are run on systems, not people.
3. Make good use of templates, project management tools, & delegating.
Stop trying to reinvent the wheel. Step trying to keep all of the steps in your head. Stop trying to do all of it yourself. Perfect your process, write it down, and then find a tool or person to take over each and every step.
4. Refine, refine, refine!
This is something that should be revisited regularly! As your business changes or you try out your client flow, make adjustments where necessary. As your business grows, continue adding on more things that will WOW your clients. Once the basics are on auto-pilot, you can start to add in really juicy extras that will leave your customers overjoyed, speaking your name, and coming back for more.
A bad client flow can destroy your customer's experience before they even set foot in your door (physical or virtual). Take the time to evaluate your current system and put a plan in place to make it better.