Pay attention to the full customer journey or risk losing happy, willing customers.
(Don’t let your customer journey end poorly.
The checkout experience of any purchase flow is essential. A lack of payment options at checkout can wipe out a good customer experience.
Business Need to Pay Attention to Customer Experience
Visiting a new local hair salon which opened this week, I was reminded that customer experience evokes similar responses whether it takes place on a website or in the real world. Businesses who fail to pay attention to the full customer journey can risk losing happy and willing customers . In this example, a lack of payment options set back an otherwise excellent customer experience.
Freebies can build trust and start the relationship
My customer journey started well - I entered the salon and was immediately offered a couple of freebies; a cup of tea and an A4 sheet titled: ‘The best haircuts for your face shape’ - a photocopied document with images and text describing how to identify your face shape and several hairstyles to suit each shape. Always pleased to accept freebies I sat in the waiting area with my tea and began reading the document.
Make your products clear and available
From my position I could see the clearly defined areas in the salon; the washing areas with sinks, large hair dryers, the mirrors and barbers chairs and the checkout/payment desk by the exit, were all visible. There were no hidden areas. Immediately in front of me was a temptingly presented selection of salon products to buy.
Social proof builds trust
On one wall were several customer testimonials, all giving positive feedback. I checked the dates and they were recent letters. Along another wall was a line of framed photographs of smiling members of staff. Below each photograph was listed their years of experience, speciality and qualifications. And in the centre of the wall was a large poster presenting the Salon’s prices for, a cut, a blowdry, wedding hair, foil, balayage and so on. It was clear and easy to filter the cost of the treatment I had planned and any I might want to add.
A Customer is Someone with whome you have built a relationship
I was feeling upbeat and enjoying being a customer. I had only been in the salon five minutes and in that time I had:
- been offered freebies.
- read positive customer testimonials.
- been presented with evidence of staff experience and specialities.
- a clear idea of how much my visit was to cost me.
Repeat Business is the Best Business
My wait was not long and forty five minutes later I emerged from my chair with a new hair cut and ready to pay and book a repeat appointment.
Checkout Process can Kill a Sale
But that’s when the experience changed dramatically. At the checkout I was informed the salon only accepted cheques or cash and were unable to accept credit or debit cards.
I felt a rush of disappointment sweep over me. How could this Salon that had successfully put the customer experience at the core of their business fail so dismally at the end?
A Journey of Confidence
This business had inspired confidence by added value at each stage of the customer journey, with:
And yet I left them with the knowledge I wouldn’t return. Rushing out to the nearest ATM to collect cash as payment was an experience I couldn’t forgive.