Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Do You Really Care?

       It has been said that you never have a second chance to make a first impression. What does your storefront say about you
       Does your storefront show your customers, both present and future, just how much you care about them? This is a big part of customer service. It is important that your store is welcoming; if your customers are comfortable they are more likely to buy more. If they are stressed or not comfortable they can’t wait to leave, without purchases.
       Are your windows clean? Dirty windows and doors say, “I don’t care enough about you to make you welcome.” Your displays should be fresh and timely. Dusty, tired, half-done displays and out of date posters make you look like you are going out of business. Your windows offer a great opportunity to showcase what is new and exciting about your store. They should be redone often to keep them fresh.
       How does the sidewalk and parking area in front of your store look? It should be swept and cleaned at least daily; maybe more than once a day if necessary. If your store is in a shopping center or strip mall that isn’t kept up as well as it should be your clean area will really stand out. It’s subliminal, but your clean and shiny storefront will become a magnet for customers.
       Yesterday I saw a shopkeeper park right in front of his door, despite the empty parking lot a few feet away. This is a big no-no. These premium parking places should be reserved for customers and clients. You and your employees probably won’t need your cars until after work so they can be parked out in the lot leaving the up close spaces for customers. Many potential customers will not stop if they don’t see convenient parking. A neat trick is to put removable signs on your cars and spread them out in the lot to advertise your business throughout the area. This is a very inexpensive way to advertise your business and take advantage of an unused resource.
       Now step outside and take a good look at your store front. Does it say “we care about you” or does it need refreshing to make your customers feel wanted and welcome ?