Image is NOT everything, but image is very important. In today’s marketplace, owners need to evaluate every aspect of their business in order to attract new customers, as well as retaining their existing customer base.
Quality and value will always play a role but the feeling of being welcomed, safe and comfortable goes a long way. The two key components to creating these feelings are your employees and their surroundings.
Just as a customer wouldn’t want to frequent a business where the employees were rude or disinterested, they don’t want to spend their money in a facility that isn’t well kept. There’s a direct correlation between perceived quality of goods and services along with the appearance of your building and site.
Chances are, you won’t find “parking lot striping”, “nicely paved parking lots” or “well lit and attractive monument signs” on most people’s lists of reasons on why they frequent a business, however, these items alone send a message to customers and they will notice, even if they aren’t looking for it. If a parking lot is full of pot holes and is poorly maintained, people may not feel comfortable in this environment. Fading striped lines and pot holes could lead to possible damage or worries about damage to vehicles. In article on retailcustomerexperience.com that you can view here, 70% of shoppers had negative experiences at a retail store within the past 6 months, with a percentage of that due to parking lot issues, specifically potholes or lack of snow removal.
This brings me to my last point which is the cost of deferred maintenance. When money is tight, the natural tendency is to cut back wherever possible and this only works to an extent. However, cutting back on lot maintenance leads to even more expensive repairs down the road (pun intended). The money you spend on prevention today will always be less than what you’ll spend down the road if you allow the lot to degrade even further. In a “down economy”, maintenance should be one of the first things a business does because there is a larger chance to get more bang for your buck when it comes to repairs.
The Bottom Line:
People will judge your business before they step out of their vehicles (and even before pulling into your parking lot). What does your facility’s site and exterior say to your customers? Does it convey the quality of the products and services that they will experience on the inside of your business? If the answer is no, perhaps it’s time to do something about it.
Some of our work before we started a particular project and afterwards. (Note: This is the same lot, just a different section in each photo)
Thank you for reading.