I've already talked about how this is a good time of year to work on the Personal Experience Factor of your business if the holidays aren't your busy time.
So…how do you actually go about deciding which improvements to make in your store, office or shop?
There are hundreds of ways to evaluate your PEF, and taking a global look at it will likely put you in paralysis by analysis. Yet, there's no better or direct way of grabbing precious market share away from your competitors.
Want a shortcut?
What I mean is simplify the process by using your senses to rank competitors and look for opportunities and vulnerabilities. Make yourself a simple chart with the 5 senses across the top and your list of competitors along the side. Be sure to save ample room to make notes in your grid.
Now, go to your competitor's locations and have a look around. Make mental notes around the 5 senses.
Look at color schemes, newness and condition of things like carpet, paint, ceiling tiles. Look at your competitors from 1 block away, 20 feet away and 5 feet away. Trust me, your customers notice things about YOUR business that have become invisible to you. In your heart, you might hope that they forgive you for your business's visual blemishes, but they can't see your heart.
What is the tactile environment like? Are the carpets plush, the surfaces of countertops clean, the bathrooms spotless? Are customers greeted with warmth? Even if you don't shake hands (flu, colds and all that) you can at least use open arms and gesture to greet visitors.
Yes, smell. What are the odors wafting through the air in your competitor's shops? Take notes about industrial smells, medicinal smells, perfume, air fresheners or cookies. Mike Dandridge used a small convection oven and frozen cookie dough to add an irresistible odor to a hum-drum electrical supply distribution business. How about great smelling coffee?
Yes, closely related to smell. Are your competitors doing anything to please the taste buds of their customers? Are you? You don't have to be in the restaurant business to delight people with something tasty. Spend a couple of hundred bucks on a Nespresso 1-cup gourmet coffee maker and see what happens!
Hark! What's that I hear? Close your eyes and make mental notes about what you hear going on around you in your business and your competitors'. Do you hear office staff gossiping on the phone or using bad language? Are you hearing private or confidential information about customers, patients or vendors? Is the environment simply too loud with the everyday sounds of your business?
After you have notes on all 5 senses, you can easily rank your competitors according to how well they do on each sense. Then, look for ways to improve your own place. Be just a little better than everyone in all 5 senses and you'll have increased your PEF in a way that will definitely move the market share needle in the coming year. Choose one sense and make a home-run out of it and you'll be generating Word of Mouth faster than those cookies and coffee can be consumed.
Would you like the worksheet?
Subscribe to my newsletter list and I'll email you a handy PDF worksheet that you can print out to use for your own sniffy-tasty-feely-sparkling-earcandy research project. Be sure to let me know how it works for you!