What do they see?
I was at a spa a couple of days ago enjoying wonderful treatments including a facial. The staff and
treatments were excellent.
But when I lay down on the treatment table and looked up at the ceiling there was a big water stain on one of the ceiling tiles.
Now the stain would be easy for the staff to ignore or miss – they aren’t looking up. But their customers are!
The stain stands out and takes away from all the good things this spa had put in place to create a great spa experience.
Worse when something stands out in a negative way like that, our brains automatically creates a negative thought association.
For example – what else isn’t being maintained? Or the overall impression of the business decreases.
And the negative association happens at an unconscious level – the customer may or may not be aware of it, but they will base their future decisions on the negative association!
I had a similar experience at a high end hair salon (stain on the ceiling). Every single person when they are getting their hair washed looks up at the ceiling.
Is it an issue? Absolutely! But it may not show up as important to the business owners or staff because they aren’t seeing it – they are not the ones getting their hair washed and looking at the ceiling.
This is true in every business. For example if you are walking into a restaurant and you see a dirty entrance way – are you going to eat there? Probably not!
You may get regulars who have gone so often to the restaurant that they overlook the dirty entranceway, but you are turning away a lot of new potential customers.
What is the unconscious negative association of a dirty entranceway to a restaurant?
My brain wonders automatically goes to wondering how clean the rest of the restaurant and kitchen are – do I want my food prepared in a dirty place?
Another example is a stained carpet in a pharmacy. Even if you know the carpet is clean (because it is cleaned regularly) if there is a stain that will not come out, what the customers see is a dirty carpet – and the unconscious association is if it is dirty is that it is unhealthy.
Who wants to shop or pick up prescriptions from an unhealthy pharmacy!
How about with a residential carpet cleaning business? What does the truck, equipment or service personnel look like? Do they look professional and clean?
Cleaning carpets is a dirty job but it’s important that you show up at your last job of the day the same way you show up at the first job.
No one wants to let someone into their home if they (or the equipment) look filthy. It looks like you are bringing dirt into the home rather than taking it out of it!
Take a look at things such as awnings, windows, posters, vehicles and signs – are they in good shape?
Are they clean? Is the shape they are in reflective of the business?
The challenge is being able to look at your business through your customers’ eyes on a regular basis.
We become blind to our environment because we see it every day, and we see if from the activities we are focused on doing in our business.
Every experience your customers have with your business either reinforces or takes away from the value you are providing (and impacts what your customers are making their buying decisions on).
Take a look at your business (and involve your team!). Are there areas of your business that do not represent your business? What can you do to improve it?
Recommendation: Do a monthly review of your business (with your team) role playing as a customer.
Literally go through the whole experience of someone doing business with your company from start to finish – what stands out that may take away from the perceived value of your business. How can you improve it?
You may be losing business that you are not even aware of simply because of your customers’ unconscious negative associations – and they are usually from things that are simple to change.