I’m lucky enough to be part of a brilliant mastermind group of female business owners. We meet once a month to chew the fat (and some delicious sandwiches), work through business challenges, inspire and motivate each other to keep improving our businesses.
As you (probably) know, being a small business owner is a lonely old path. Having these women whose opinions I value and whose advice I trust on hand is a huge benefit to me, and keeps me on track. It also provides me with the accountability I need to stick to the goals I have set for myself.
We get together once a month, alternating between various different venues (we are usually most tempted to return to wherever provides the best sandwiches).
One such venue is a big hotel near Gatwick. It’s very lovely with comfortable, cosy meeting rooms, good food, a garden to walk in, nice biscuits etc. Just what we need. There’s just one thing missing. The welcome.
On arrival, there is usually some signage to show us which meeting room we are going to be in, but, that doesn’t help us to know where the room is, and it seems to be the only hotel in the world that doesn’t have a reception desk.
Now, we all know what a reception desk is for. You’ve probably never walked into a hotel and thought: uh-oh, what have we HERE? It feels like innate knowledge. The reception desk is where you find out where your meeting is being held, or check-in to get the key to your room.
This particular hotel doesn’t have one, there is no smiling person waiting to greet you and send you on your way. Without this vital component of the hotelling world, one’s arrival becomes a farcical, Muppet Showesque search for the right room, comprising going up and down stairs, round in circles, opening and closing the wrong doors, interrupting other people etc.
Such a simple thing, but without it….chaos.
Have a think about your business. What kind of welcome do your customers get? If you have a retail business, it’s pretty easy to deliver this, providing your staff are well trained. But, if you are running a service-based business it’s not so easy to make sure that this happens.
When your clients engage you do they know what the next steps are? Do they know what to expect once they’ve signed on the dotted line? Do you signpost the path for them? Having all this information available for your clients will help them to feel ‘safe’ at a time when they may be feeling vulnerable about their decision to spend money with you – buyer’s remorse isn’t just for handbags.
When I sign up new clients I make sure that they clearly understand what is going to happen once we get started on the work. I do this by sharing a document with my clients called ‘About working with The Marketing Architect’. In this document I outline how my process works, what the client can expect, timeframes for deliverables, how I do my invoicing, my office hours, how my team is set up, etc, etc. Having this available for clients means that everything is clear, there are no unanswered questions (I hope) and as little Muppetry as possible.
Whether you take the same approach, or you include this information on your website, it’s a really good idea to remove any causes for concern or anxiety that your client might feel around their purchase. So, what could you do in your business to make your customers feel welcome and set on a clear path?
Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash