Whether you have a class-based business like a yoga studio or an appointment-based business like a salon, welcoming new customers to your business is critical for customer experience and retention. If someone new feels welcome and that their expectations were met, they are more likely to return and become regular customers.
Here are three ways other business owners like you make new customers feel welcome so they enjoy their experience and become regulars.
Provide Lots of Information Before They Arrive
One of the best ways to create a great experience for new customers is to arm them with knowledge about what to expect before they even arrive…and then deliver on that expectation when they walk in the door.
This includes having a comprehensive website that answers common questions and is branded to match the feeling of walking in your door. You can also use a welcome email that provides a brief summary of their booking details with links to learn more on your website. Make sure it includes an easy way to contact you if they need to change something. Some businesses even go so far as to have a staff member call the customer to welcome them and proactively answer questions.
Create a Welcome Packet for New Customers
When a new customer comes in for their first class or service, greet them with a branded welcome packet that includes all the information they might need to familiarize themselves with your community. Some ideas for what to include are:
- Customer’s login email and password to your MINDBODY system (this will make it much easier for them to book online)
- Printed schedule or menu of services
- Pricing, including any special discounts they receive during their intro offer period
- Business FAQs and policies
- Retail discount coupon
- Referral cards or guest passes to bring friends
- Information about the benefits of the service you provide (such as a print out of an article about the benefits of a regular yoga practice)
- Business owner or manager’s contact information
Be sure to follow up on the welcome packet information in your new customer email sequences that go out in the days/weeks following their first visit.
Personalize the First Experience
No amount of technology or nicely branded printed materials makes up for a great personal interaction when a new customer walks into your business for the first time. Everything from the way they’re greeted by your front desk staff to whether or not they receive a guided tour of your space makes a difference in how comfortable they feel, especially if they’re new to the type of service you offer.
Create policies in your business for the process of greeting new customers at your front desk. Give personal tours of your space and point out important things that might be confusing or intimidating for a new customer. Most importantly, make a point to ask the customer if they have questions. One of the biggest hurdles to retaining customers is helping them understand the options they have beyond their intro offer in your business. Take advantage of the opportunity while they’re new to establish a friendly relationship with them to make sure they not only want to come back, but feel comfortable to talk to you about the options to do so.
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