I have a confession to make. I have a slight obsession with critiquing businesses. Let me clarify that a little more, I absolutely love observing and analyzing the entire customers’ experience from start to finish and brainstorming ways that a business could improve. I also note the things they do really well!
Usually, my critiques occur when my husband and I are trying new restaurants or hotels because the overall transaction is usually longer than most consumer experiences.
Recently, I had a very interesting appointment at a “spa”, I use the term loosely because as you’ll see it wasn’t exactly what most of us would consider a spa-like experience or environment. In fact, everything from my first interaction with the spa’s website to paying my bill screamed,
WE DON’T WANT YOU TO COME BACK!
5 Reasons Your Customers Won’t Come Back
I promise I’m not as crazy as I sound, my husband has been in retail for over 15 years and we talk a lot about customer service. We are both quite obsessed with business and how companies can go above and beyond to make their customers happy. Unfortunately, there are many times we do take notice of businesses that do the opposite.
There are definitely more than 5 things you can do that will make your customers never come back but today we are going to walk through 5 that are very important and very easy to correct! To illustrate each point I’ll show you how the “SPA” failed and clearly showed me they weren’t interested in my return business.
1. Website Issues
Your website screams “We’ve Got Issues!” We were preparing for our beach trip and my sweet husband decided to “try” and book me an appointment at a local spa. He found a highly rated one on Google and proceeded to their website. Quickly he realized that booking online was going to be impossible. The homepage of the site states “you can’t book using Safari, call to book”
Next, when he attempted to book (luckily he wasn’t using Safari) he was presented with a confusing list of nearly 75 services. Lastly, the website would not let you book more than one service at a time. In other words, he couldn’t book a manicure and pedicure online. The entire website was so frustrating he asked me to just call and book. Keep in mind most people won’t call, they would just move to the next spa that actually had a functioning website.
Ask yourself, does my website scream “we’ve got issues”! If your site doesn’t function the way it is intended to then it is basically pointless. On top of that, it’s frustrating for the customer. If bookings can’t be efficiently made online, then don’t offer online bookings.
Fix any broken forms, scheduling tools or messaging that creates a poor customer experience. If you don’t know how to, hire someone! It’s that important!
2. Confusing or Unprofessional Communication
Your first line of contact is unprofessional and /or confusing. After the inability to schedule my appointment online I called the “spa”. The receptionist answered and was very nice, however, she asked me a confusing question that I’m not even sure was relevant or professional.
After I asked if there were any available appointments she asked me a question that I’d never been asked before. She inquired, “What kind of hair do you have?”
I honestly didn’t know how to answer that and I don’t really know what the purpose of the question was. So, it left me feeling a little confused.
Make sure that your first contact with a customer is clear and professional. If you need information phrase the question more specifically. Like, “Do you have long hair?” or “Does your hair have extensive damage?” Pose the questions to get exactly the type of information you need so you’re not leaving your customer confused.
Remember this goes for all communication including direct messaging through social media, phone calls, emails and in-person inquiries.
3. Misrepresenting Your Business
You are misrepresenting your business. In other words what you communicate online, in your marketing, through email or phone conversations is not actually the service or product you provide.
From the look of the “spa” website I thought I was booking my pedicure, manicure, cut and color at an actual spa. Here’s the thing I’ve really only been to 2 other spas in my life and I’d say they are totally what I expected. Low light, soft music, clean and relaxing atmosphere.
When I arrived at the “spa” it was not what I expected. It was a very nice hair salon with an area for manicures and pedicures and I think they had a section for their massage services. However, also include were snack machines and a child’s play area and several men clients.
I have no issue with getting my hair cut in the same room with men and children playing. However, when a business represents itself as a high-end spa, it’s not really what I expect. Typically, women book at these types of places to escape kids and … husbands. That wasn’t the case and I do feel that they misrepresented their spa online.
Ask yourself, is my branding, messaging and communication online and on social media consistent with the products, service, and atmosphere we provide. If the answer is no, you need to address these areas and correct them.
4. No Attempt to WOW!
You make no attempt to “wow” your customer or go the extra mile. I arrived for my appointment at 11 am and left at 4 pm. Yes, you read that right, that was not a typo. During my appointments, I will say the two ladies were awesome. They had great personalities and were both very talented. However, there was absolutely nothing that happened that day that set this salon/spa apart for other spas.
For example, my one time at a real spa was also an all day event. Now it also included a full body massage on top of hair, nails etc, and you know what else it included FOOD! Unfortunately, this spa offered me the chance to walk across the street to Chic-Fil-A or I could get something from the vending machines.
Please, make sure that you are going the extra mile for your customers. In a world of endless choices, your business HAS to be different. How can you be different? Go the extra mile, create a special experience, make your customers want to come back!
5. Zero Follow-Up or Follow-Through
You have no system of following up or reconnecting with your customer. During my day at the spa, I talked about my job and my love of marketing. I talked a lot with one girl about their biggest struggle at the spa and it will come as no surprise to you that she said their biggest challenge is “client retention”.
I asked her what they did to get customers to come back. She explained that they always booked the client’s next appointment before they left. Well, that’s all great, if that’s actually what happened.
Yep, you guessed it, they let me walk out without even attempting to schedule my next appointment.
Examine your business and make sure you have a way to follow-up with your readers or customers.
How can you do that? It’s so easy! GET THEIR EMAIL ADDRESS. ALWAYS!
It’s so easy! GET THEIR EMAIL ADDRESS. ALWAYS! and then Follow Up! Customer retention should be part of your overall business plan! Don’t skimp on that.
Will I ever Return to the “Spa”
As much as I critiqued the spa I really thought they did a great job on my hair and nails. They had very talented staff, however, I just really felt like there’s nothing that would make me want to come back over trying another salon/spa. I feel like for the amount of time and money I invested that day I should walk away with feeling excited about my next appointment. Unfortunately, I left with one feeling.. hunger!
Don’t let your customers ever leave “hungry” make sure you fix any areas of your business that are telling your customers to never come back! Look at your business plan and realign with your ideal customer again and make sure you have your plan for customer retention planned out well.
Don’t have a business plan? Get your free one today. It’s never too late to plan your business.
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