Creating an atmosphere of fun in your business can go a long way in helping foster customer loyalty. And customer loyalty translates into increased sales - not only through repeat patrongage, but by your customers telling friends and family what a great experience they have at your business!
Developing a small business plan that encourages and stimulates growth in your business should be a top priority for every business owner. But in the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life, sometimes the little things can get overlooked. And it's the little things that can add up to either great or poor customer retention.
Following are some of our ideas on practical and creative ways a business owner / successful franchisee can maintain and stimulate customer growth and a fun atmosphere in their store!
Pay attention to the little things: Don't bring down the atmosphere of your store through having a dirty restroom, dusty products, messy displays or cluttered counterspaces. Make sure that the store is in good repair with doors that don't annoyingly squeak, ceilings free from water spots and cob-webs, and floors that are clean and easily navigated. Also, you'll want to make sure that items and/or services have easy-to-find prices available, as it can be frustrating for a customer who may want to purchase an item but not know how much it costs. Keep an eye out for damaged products or products with beat-up packaging, as you wouldn't want your customer to have the impression that you're trying to sell them something inferior!
Decorations: In our mass-produced world, sometimes customers will appreciate visiting a business that encourages creativity and keeps things lively and interesting through the placement of seasonal decorations, artwork and other subtle personal touches. Be sure you know who your target audience is, and utilize up-to-date decorations that showcase why your business is special!
Music: Music can add a fun atsmosphere to your store, but make sure it isn't so loud that customers may feel as if they have to plug their ears. Also make sure that whatever music you have playing in the background is appropriate for your audience, and doesn't contain anything that might offend.
Happy Employees: We've all been to stores where employees behave as if inconvenienced that you've bothered to ask them a question or go through their check-out line. Make sure to help employees understand the importance of greeting their customer when they enter the store, smiling and being courteous whenever working with a customer, and wishing them a good day when they leave. And while it's important for employees to be available for any help a customer might require, being too intrusive may be a turn-off for customers (example: hovering when a customer is shopping, or asking multiple times if they need help).
Appreciate your Customers: Everyone likes to be recognized and appreciated. For those customers who repeatedly do business at your store, you may want to send them a thank you note with coupon. Hosting a "Customer Appreciation Day" once a year might also be a great idea, with the providing of live music, a raffle, pet costume contest, art contest, games for kids, and more! Be creative, and have fun!
Here at Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids Franchising, we love to have FUN! We also love sharing our many great business tips and resources for small businesses so that our franchisees will have the tools to succeed! If you're interested in learning how to become a successful owner of your own franchise business, please click below!