A store manager told of the day when no one would come into her store. Her Pearle Vision location was a free standing store and the employees parked their car in the back and entered and exited through the rear door. On this particular day they arrived shortly before opening time so they could turn on the machines, check the phone messages, vacuum the store front and get ready for the customers. At the appointed hour they unlocked the front door and waited for their first customers of the day. They could see through a window that a car approached and a customer got out of the car and walked toward the front door. However, rather than come in, they returned to their car and drove off.
Strange, thought the manager, but she was busy with other tasks and didn’t think about it. However, a second and third potential customer did the same thing. Curious and curiouser. She couldn’t imagine what the problem was. Thankfully the fourth person approaching the store solved the mystery.
“You might want to go out front and check out your walkway. There is a dead cat in front of your door. It is really pretty gross.”
Dorthea stressed the importance of the viewing our business through the eyes of the customer. And that means the outside of the business as well. “Customers begin making judgements about your ability to satisfy their needs from the minute they pull into the parking lot. You can have the cleanest store, the best inventory and the most trained staff but if the outside of the building has trash or heaven forbid, a dead cat, customers aren’t going to believe you can provide them with a great experience.”
From that moment on, I made sure I took a walk around my store on the outside as well as the inside and truly looked to see what the customer sees. No dead cats here!
Whether we have a store front, a home based business or an online business – we need to take the time to view the entire experience through the eyes of the customer. If you looked at your business through customer eyes – would you find a “dead cat” keeping you from making a great first impression?