Many businesses, especially retailers, have a blended approach to their operations encompassing elements of ecommerce and brick and mortar retail. However, running a business with a physical presence brings with it a certain set of responsibilities. Like your website, your social media presence or your content marketing materials, your physical premises is an extension of your branding. Your customers and visitors will judge it accordingly. And if you plan on growing your business, you can’t afford to take a single first impression for granted. The challenge, then, is to ensure that your physical premises gives your customers or clients the right impression even before they walk through your door.
But that can be easier said than done.
No matter how hard you work to create and maintain an optimal business premises, sometimes even little things can undo everything you’ve worked so hard to build. With that in mind, let’s look at 5 ways in which your business premises can give your customers the wrong impression…
They can’t park
Your customers’ first impression can be formed long before they set foot on-site. If they have to drive around for a long time to find a parking space because your employees have taken up the best ones, this can inject a sour note into their experience that you’ll need to work much harder to erase. Optimizing your parking lot, encouraging car pooling and having clear policies on where employees can and cannot park can all be useful in creating a harmonious customer experience and a great first impression.
It’s not consistently clean or tidy
You know how important it is to keep your space clean. Especially under the current circumstances. But customers don’t just notice the broad strokes. They notice the little details, too. For instance, they’ll notice if there’s one corner that the cleaners have missed that’s dirty and grimy. They’ll notice a bathroom that’s not been cleaned to a satisfactory standard. They’ll notice if an employee’s desk is cluttered or swamped with paperwork. It’s up to you to ensure that cleanliness and tidiness are consistent in your space, and that each employee does their part to ensure a clean, tidy and pleasant workplace. Even if you have cleaning staff.
It’s too hot
It’s a scientific fact. We all hate being too hot. Even if your premises is a little on the cool side, that’s infinitely preferable to being too hot. Being too hot makes us cranky and irritable. It can make small inconveniences seem like big issues. It can escalate conflicts and at the very least make us feel sweaty and unpleasant. So it’s up to you to keep your premises cool. From ensuring that the orifice HVAC system is working to servicing air conditioning units regularly or placing filters over your windows to block excessive heat from the sunlight. There are all kinds of ways in which you can maintain a pleasant temperature.
Your employees seem stressed and irritable
Finally, even if your premises is immaculate, your employees’ actions can make things seem chaotic, poorly managed… or really unfair to them. If your employees look visibly stressed, irritable and on the verge of nervous breakdown that can send a very strong message to your customers. Of course employees have stressful days. But they need to be trained and encouraged to seek out help when they feel out of their depth and to keep stress-induced outbursts out of the eyes and ears of customers.