A business’s reputation doesn’t just depend on its products, services, and prices. More than those, the customer’s experience matters. If a customer had a negative experience with your business, your excellent products and affordable prices would be useless.
Several factors affect a customer’s experience. And some of them are surprisingly minor. The receptionist who didn’t smile at them? They might’ve soured a customer’s mood. As a result, they’d spread the word about your aloof receptionist, causing their peers to avoid your business as well.
That said, here are the other small things that can tarnish your business’s reputation:
1. Lack of Parking Space
Some say location is the most important factor in planning a business. But that belief tends to disregard parking, which should be the next most important factor. If your business targets consumers with private vehicles, then they’d use their cars to visit your establishment. If they don’t find a parking space, they’d feel inconvenienced and might leave to find another establishment that’ll serve them better.
However, it can be reasonable for some businesses to lack parking space. Retail stores along the sides of a highway, for example, can’t allot an area for parking yet still attract many customers. In that case, they most likely provide parking in a separate, secure facility. That would allow customers to walk along with the other shops, putting them in the mood to spend money.
2. Broken Pavers or Driveways
Concrete, even when layered with asphalt, still gets damaged over time. Heavy vehicle and even foot traffic distress it repeatedly, eventually causing cracks, disintegration, or distortion. This issue can also apply to parking lots. If the parking’s surface has cracked and risen, for example, it can damage the underside of vehicles. Not to mention, it creates a trip hazard to people walking.
If heavy-loaded trucks regularly come to your establishment to deliver stocks, you should have driveway maintenance in place. It’s also for the benefit of the trucks themselves. The moment you notice a crack, call an asphalt crack repair expert to assess the damage and make the necessary fixes immediately.
3. Bad or Inadequate Lighting
Lighting is crucial in offices. Inadequate lighting can reduce productivity since the space isn’t bright enough to make tasks easy to perform. But too much lighting — particularly fluorescent bulbs — isn’t helping either. The harsh lighting they emit can cause migraines and eye strain.
Unfortunately, it seems that bad lighting is typical in workplaces. According to the American Society of Interior Design, 68% of employees had complaints about the lighting choices in their workplace. The complaints included both inadequate and harsh lighting.
Natural light is the ideal type of lighting for workplaces. It has an indirect effect on hormonal balance, mood, and behavior, leading to increased productivity. Directly, natural lighting’s effect is making a space evenly illuminated, making things easier to see.
If you regularly invite clients to your office, the natural light will also affect them positively. After all, offices spaces are typically boxed-in, so the sight of daylight will come as a pleasant surprise.
4. Rude Employees
This is no minor issue, yet not every manager addresses it adequately. Rude employees, especially in the service industry, will instantly taint your business’ reputation. While it’s understandably difficult for service employees to stay nice all the time, it’s unprofessional for them to be rude. If they encounter a demanding customer, the proper way for the employee to handle that is to stay calm. The only time they can retaliate is when physical assault becomes involved.
If an employee is rude for no reason, address their rudeness calmly to avoid escalating the situation. Give them a chance to speak, too; you could learn that their rudeness may stem from deeper issues involving your company or their personal life. But whatever the case is, don’t excuse rude behavior, or worse, ignore it. Note that your business’ reputation is at stake here.
5. A Hot Workplace
Like lighting, temperature also has an effect on workers’ productivity. It may also affect a customer’s mood. No one likes to shop or be served in a hot and stuffy place, after all.
According to a study, productivity drops by around 4% per degree if the room temperature reaches 27°C. A customer’s mood will likely fall at the same rate as that temperature. So if your A/C is having problems, have it repaired right away or keep its thermostats set to comfortable temperatures.
Nothing passes the notice of an observant customer, so don’t risk your reputation by ignoring the minor issues. It’s costlier to do damage control than preventing damage in the first place.