Let’s get physical: Breaching the gap between your online persona and your physical store
In this digital age, there are many things which aren’t quite what they seem.
It’s unsurprising when you consider that we now have free reign to paint whichever reality we fancy. Now, any one of us could have a multitude of online friends who will believe any persona we choose to paint.
This is especially an issue in online dating. Here, many people post old pictures, or even fake ones, to attract attention. And, businesses are sometimes guilty of this rose-tinted view, as well. It may seem like a good idea, but with something like dating, and business too, the facade will never last.
There will come a stage where your date, or your customer, want to meet you in real life (or head to your business premises). And, when this happens, the illusion will come crumbling down. If you aren’t careful, you’ll crumble with it.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with painting yourself in the best light online. In fact, in the business world, this is now essential for success. Your online presence is almost more important than your physical one nowadays. It’s certainly where customers will form their first impressions and so forth. But, you need to concentrate on ensuring that you bring the physical aspects of your business up to that standard. And, to help you do that, we’re going to look at the realities which often don’t match up to the online personas we create.
Make sure they recognize you
For one, you need to ensure that online customers recognize your physical business premises. Otherwise, you can be sure they’ll soon lose interest in finding it.
Even if they liked what they saw online, there are plenty of other companies who can offer the same services. If you’re hard to find, there’s nothing to stop people reaching out to alternatives. Instead, ensure you produce a space which works well with your online presence. Logos and colour schemes will come in particularly handy here. If you ensure they’re visible from the outside of your premises, you can clear up a lot of confusion from the off.
It’s also worth incorporating pictures of your premises within your online accounts. That way, people will at least know where to look out for. And, of course, don’t forget to include a visible sign outside. This should state your company name and logo, and be visible to passers-by. As well as making you stand out to online customers, this will help you draw passing trade. Believe it or not; that kind of thing still matters.
First appearances count
Once your customers find you, it’s important their first impressions match their expectations. This isn’t like a first meeting, because they already know about you and what you do. In that way, some of the pressure is taken off. But, if their first impression doesn’t meet their expectations, you open the way for disappointment. And, that’s never welcome in a business situation.
To make sure your facade matches your online image, set about making it look as good as possible. Get your grass as green as you edited it to be with the use of irrigation systems, like those found at https://www.proirrigation.com/.
Make sure those walls look as perfect as they did in your pictures by keeping on top of the paint job. And, make sure that your setting is as picturesque as you made it appear. Having a busy road right out of sight, or an ugly building right behind yours, will not go down well. Instead, choose your space carefully.
Approach every possibility as though you’re a customer, and consider what you notice. If something distracts you or puts you off, this might not be the right place.
Think greenery, peace, and appeal. It may seem like a tall order at times, but this is a position worth waiting for. Straight away, your customers will be in a better mood to buy from you!
Lie about your age, but don’t let it show
It’s not unusual for people to lie about their ages on dating sites. In fact, it’s thought that up to 80% of online daters tell fibs like this. Most of the time, it’s nothing major. Some people take a year or two off. Some even add them! Either way, it’s not unusual.
Admittedly, lying about your business’s age isn’t necessarily applicable. It doesn’t much matter how long you’ve been around, after all. Unlike with dating, customers aren’t liable to turn you away because you’ve been doing this for years. In fact, experience is a good thing in the business world and could earn you higher levels of trust.
But, there is a negative factor to age that you do need to consider. When buildings are old, they get run down. Much like people, they get aches and pains, cracks and wrinkles. So, sure; lie about your age if you want to. But, don’t let it show. If your business premises has damp on the walls, and cracks in the ceiling, it won’t exactly spread the right image. Yet, these things are inevitable with age.
The best way around it, then, is to cover issues the moment they arise. If you have real problems with damp, get some professionals to treat and solve the cause. If you have cracks in your walls, head to sites like www.doityourself.com to find out how to do them. And, make an effort to repaint, inside and outside, at least every few years. This way, you’ll look young and blooming no matter what age your business might be. Instead of looking around in horror, customers are sure to be impressed at the top condition of your space.
The same aesthetic as your Instagram
If you want to make a go of things in modern business, it’s essential to be present on every social media platform going. And, that includes Instagram. This is a social media solely dedicated to making things look good. Hence, it’s perfect for many businesses. What company doesn’t want their product to look amazing? On top of which, you’ll likely take photos of your office space, and staff members to increase that personal vibe.
This is all well and good, but it also means you have to think about applying that photo image to the rest of your office. After all, customers will be a little miffed if your office looks amazing on Instagram, and lacklustre in real life. The good news is, it isn’t difficult to get this right.
All you need to do is see what stands out most on Instagram photos. Often, clean spaces with house plants and other fresh additions look best. Inspirational quotes are also sure to go down well, too. Don’t hesitate to paint some of these onto your otherwise white walls.
A product which is as good as it looks
Of course, all this revolves around your product itself. That’s the whole reason you have an online presence in the first place. But, if your product looks fantastic online, you need to ensure that it’s as amazing in real life. This goes back to the expectation thing we spoke about earlier. You don’t want your customers getting any unpleasant surprises here. All that’ll happen are calls for returns and refunds.
Instead, be as honest as you can about what your product does, for real. Don’t make out that it can help you to fly if that’s not what it does. When online, post realistic demos and photos which actually look like what you sell. This doesn’t mean you have to shortchange your product. It merely means you have to focus on actually making it the best it can be, instead of just presenting it that way.
Customer services to match your social media style
Your customer service skills are also critical when it comes to physical sales. Anyone can sit down and reply to social media complaints. This way, you have time to think about the best reply and a satisfactory conclusion. Face to face, you don’t have that privilege.
Yet, many companies have neglected customer service training, and instead handle complaints solely online. Newsflash; this isn’t the way to go about things. A polite email on your computer is never going to beat decent face to face service. Equally, if someone received a courteous reply online, it isn’t unreasonable for them to expect the same thing in real life.
Though online dealings are essential, make sure you still train staff how to deal with physical complaints. A smile always goes far here, as does an apology, and an attempt to solve the issue efficiently.
So, there you have it
So, there’s your dating success guide for physical customers. Too often, the modern business focuses on the online world. There’s no denying that it’s essential.
Without getting this right, it’s unlikely you’ll get off the ground. But, it’s also essential you remember that physicality still matters. For now, at least. If you aren’t what you claim to be, why should customers trust you with their money?