Have you ever sat in a coffee shop on a busy street in the middle of winter, when the temperature’s in the single digits and the snow is dumping down? Take a poll one of these days. How many of the people walking down the street are actually smiling?
No, not that grimace you get when your cheeks are frozen solid. I’m talking about an actual smile.
If you live somewhere that actually gets that cold on a semi-regular basis, you know business and traffic don’t shut down fer nothin’. Kids go to school in near-blizzard conditions. Their parents are expected to show up for work in far worse. So bad weather isn’t a reason to stay at home.
It is, however, a reason to be a crank. And misery loves company. Guess what? If your doors are open, you just became company! So here are four tips to help keep your customers smiling, even when the weather doesn’t want to help you out.
1) Keep it warm. I can’t count how many shops I’ve walked into that were barely any warmer than it was outside. Their logic? Their customers all had coats on anyway. This way they didn’t have to take their coats off and carry them around. (It didn’t hurt that the shops got to keep their heating bill way, way down.) Trust me, that blast of heat will do wonders to warm the icy hearts of your frozen customers.
2) Stock toasty warm drinks. This might not be the most practical idea if you’re, say, running a Wal-Mart, but if your customers do more than get in and get out a pot of coffee will be greatly appreciated.
3) Choose warm colors for your walls. When you’re looking at nothing but grey and white all day long, stepping into a shop filled with warm yellows, purples, greens, reds and blues is an almost instant mood lift. (See our earlier posts on the meaning of color.) It’s a relatively small investment that can have dramatic returns.
4) Smile! Your staff should be greeting your customers with a smile anyway, but when they’re already tired, cold and miserable a warm smile is just the thing they need to kick off an awesome customer experience. Awesome customer experiences=repeat customers=referrals. What have you got to lose?
Have any other great winter tips to share? Let us know!