You are not welcome actually
From time to time, I visit town. I go there, perhaps, to check out the 'High Street'.
Now, although I do have a specific town in mind, I am not going to name them because that would be unfair. Many people visit this town every day, and enjoy doing so, and the things I am going to mention are certainly not unique to the town in question.
However, I do not visit this town, and neither do many people that potentially might do so, which is why the town centre, like so many, is struggling. The town would claim, of course, that it wants to welcome more people there, but it cannot, because it does not know how to.
Let's take a look at the problem. As a new visitor, I do not know where to go, and I cannot find anywhere to park. Even the lanes are confusing, and I quickly became lost, and if you slow up to get your bearings you will unleash the wrath of the locals. The signage was unhelpful, packed mostly with warnings about being in the wrong place, or the wrong lane. And even after being stopped, it does not get more welcoming, with a woeful lack of basic facilities.
I am exaggerating, but not by much. I did not stop. I did not buy anything.
But why am I telling you this? Not, in fact, primarily to make a point about the High Street. I am telling you this in case your business is like the High Street. It is fine for existing customers, who are completely familiar with you and your procedures, but the new customer encounters barriers, and, maybe, even some confusion.
Instead of a clearly signed path of welcome, and a sense of being instantly allowed to wander freely, and masses of reassuring information, I get obstacles.
We need to be honest with ourselves. In fact, we are the wrong people to ask!
Mostly, we only ask the people that love our business, whereas the real answers here come from the people who drove off, because, metaphorically speaking, they could not find a parking space.
Paul OrangeTree is a experienced consultant in customer experience management, and speaks on the subject too.
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