What Do Your Customers See When They Come Into Your Shop?

Fotolia_122681180_XS.jpgYou may think that the only thing that matters in your shop is the quality of the work you do and the price you charge. And while ensuring every customer gets a quality repair is important, your business is so much more than that. No matter what your work ethic is like or how much you charge, first impressions are hard to change and they start the moment your customer gets out of their car. 

What would you, as a customer, like to see and experience during your time at a shop? You have to ask yourself these things on a regular basis in order to build your reputation in the community and better connect and appeal to your current and future customers. Take a walk from your parking lot into your shop and everywhere your customers could possibly go. What do you see? Look at every nook, surface, seat, decoration, etc. How could your customers perceive the space? Because that is going to be their first impression.

Shop Areas Your Customers Notice

Signage

When was the last time you updated your street sign? Is the paint chipping? Are the words fading? If it would be easy for a customer to miss your shop and drive right past it, it's most likely time to update your signage. Upgrading your business sign can result in better visibility for your shop, which can ultimately boost sales. 

By making an investment in your place of business and upgrading your business sign, community and local governmental leaders will also take notice. In addition to this, many economic development departments across the country strive to reward businesses that demonstrate a commitment to capital improvements and property beautification. Did you know that as a result of you making improvements to your property, your business may actually be eligible to serve as a recipient of a city grant worth thousands of dollars? This grant can then be used to assist with future storefront renovation projects.

Curb Appeal

Your business's curb appeal can have a significant influence on your property value. By improving and modernizing your shop's external appearance, you're strengthening your brand and boosting your property's overall value.  Consumers are impulsive. It's estimated that nearly half of all consumers make store visitation and purchasing decisions based on impulse alone. So by upgrading not only your signage, but your curb appeal to a level where it's highly visible, your business can inspire consumer decisions on a daily basis. 

Parking Lot

There are endless reasons for you, as an auto shop, to have a pristine and smoothly paved parking lot. For one, you cater to cars and for your place of business to appear less than safe for cars, it's just unacceptable. Glaring potholes in your parking lot can be a major problem. Clients don't want to have to dodge and weave to get to your business. And if your customers were to hit a pothole and sustain damage to their vehicles, it could lead to unnecessary costs coming out of your pocket. By keeping your parking lot sealed and looking its best, you'll continue to bring customers into your shop while keeping your property value high. You should be getting your parking lot regularly maintained by a professional paving company, by doing this, you'll relieve any worries you may have. 

Entryway and Windows

If you're looking to increase the value of your shop, consider modernizing your storefront with new windows and entryway doors. If your windows are starting to yellow or develop a cloudy appearance, that immediately puts potential customers off to your business. Not to mention, your window seals may be broken and thus costing you more money on your utility bills. Certain glasses, like insulated glass, can help to reduce utility bills. Looking to improve the security of your shop? Look into laminated or tempered glass. New windows can make a subtle but favorable impression on customers and visitors to your shop. In addition to keeping customers happy, new windows and doors can also help you as the business owner reduce overall costs. 

Lobby 

Your lobby is the extension of your front door. Your lobby is an advertising tool. It's the first and last impression for not only your customers but your employees. This is the area where you can really excel and develop an edge over competitors in your community. An updated lobby can result in potentially high-profile customers, increased pride in ownership and improved building value. So what are some things you can implement into your new lobby design to get your town talking? This is not an inclusive list, and by no means feel you must use all of these items, they're all suggestions. And you don't have to complete all of these renovations in a matter of days. This is a long-term investment, put the care and quality into your business that you would your own home. 

Long-Term Projects

  • Inviting seating spaces
  • Clean, elegant lines
  • Light and refined color palettes
  • High-quality materials
  • Organic foot traffic patterns
  • Seamless security measures
  • High ceilings

Short-Term Projects

  • Deep clean the entire building
  • Add artwork
  • Upgrade lighting fixtures
  • Repaint walls
  • Polish all surfaces
  • Purchase new furniture
  • Repair cracks, tears and scrapes
  • Remove carpet and replace with hardwoods
  • Unobtrusive A/V equipment
  • Replace dark colors with light ones

Knowing Your Customer

Fotolia_106846108_Subscription_Monthly_M.jpgAnother important question you need to ask yourself is: Who are you trying to appeal to? Is your current customer base your main priority or are you trying to attract a new one? It is normally best to utilize classic design elements like clean lines, attractive lighting, luxury materials and just a touch of modern trends. If you use too many trendy elements, you run the risk of  your lobby looking dated within a few years.There are ways to blend new trends without fighting the original design. 

Consider the connection between your lobby and your shop. Keep your lobby in line with the rest of your building's architecture. Evaluate the space as a whole, don't haphazardly select refreshes, otherwise you could wind up with changes that don't add up to a cohesive concept. If you're trying to be eco-friendly (or budget-friendly), try to reuse as much as possible from your original lobby. Also try to take advantage of local sourcing, energy-efficient systems, and sustainable wood and fiber products.

Updating your shop is not a hard thing. It just takes some investment, investment of your time and money. And if maintaining and attracting customers is important to you, you can't afford not to update and maintain your shop and parking lot. 

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